Photographer Steve Irwin recalls his last hours at work

Steve Irwin died 16 years ago while filming his nature documentary ‘Crocodile Hunter’. Now his photographer remembers what Steve’s last hours were like.

For ten years, Steve Irwin (44) as the “crocodile hunter” has dazzled audiences with his amazing animal documentaries. Over and over he would photograph himself up close with wild and dangerous animals — not a trace of fear of contact. But in 2006, a tragic accident occurred while filming his show “The Crocodile Hunter”. Steve is fatally wounded in the chest by a stingray during an underwater shootout off the coast of Port Douglas. His photographer, Justin Lyons, was by his side for the final hours and minutes. In a recent interview with Daily Mail Australia, 16 years later, Justin spoke about how Steve spent his last day and how he himself went through his tragic final moments with the Crocodile Hunter.

Photographer Steve Irwin remembers the last day with him

Many years after his death, Steve Irwin is still not forgotten by his fans. Last but not least, his family makes sure of this. His wife Terri, 58, and their two children, Bindi, 24, and Robert, 18, keep alive the legacy of the famous animal rights activist. The fact that Steve Irwin still has a huge fan base to this day can be seen from the fact that “International Steve Irwin Day” is celebrated every year on the 15th of November.

Also for Justin Lyons, Steve, whom he considered a brother, will probably not be forgotten. The photographer, who has been working with Steve since 1996, still remembers the last day with Steve very well. On September 4, 2006, Steve and his team wanted to photograph tiger sharks. So they went out in the boat and put some bait. Since then, however, it’s been a matter of waiting for the sharks to show up – but patience wasn’t Steve’s strong point. “It was a beautiful morning, we went spearfishing, and we had a blast. Then we just sat and waited for the sharks — Steve wasn’t one to sit and wait. So I said let’s jump in the boat and see what Justin remembers.” The two men quickly grabbed a smaller rubber boat and went out in search of sharks – of course, always taking their camera with them.

Justin Lyons was by his side in Steve Irwin’s fatal crash

Steve and Justin did not meet the tiger shark they were hoping to get, but instead the two men spotted a stingray and decided to photograph the animal instead. “It was amazing. We filmed them dozens of times in deep and shallow water. We weren’t afraid of them, Steve had touched and filmed them before. Although always careful, we thought it would be a pleasure.” […] It was one of the largest stingrays I have ever seen. Two meters wide, it was enormous,” Justin said in the interview. The two men filmed the ray for ten minutes. In the end, one last shot was missing, as Steve swam behind the ray, a huge mistake because the animal suddenly began stabbing Steve’s chest with its tail.

The Crocodile Hunter’s last words

Justin immediately returns the seriously injured Steve to the rest of the crew on the large boat. There, his colleagues began to provide first aid. A short time later, Steve said his last words. “Steve looked right at me and said, I’m dying. I told him, ‘No, you’re not.'” You’ll be fine, wait there,” Justin describes the tragic situation. When the boat reached the mainland 45 minutes later, rescue workers were already waiting for the injured person. But for Steve Irwin, any help came too late.

Stingrays stabbed him: his tragic death was filmed

While Justin immediately set up his camera to help Steve after the accident, filming apparently continued while the first aid and resuscitation efforts were on the boat. “We’ve always operated on the understanding that no matter what the situation is, you have to keep shooting. Several times over the years, Steve has scolded the photographer for not continuing to shoot. So our photographer has been shooting from the moment we arrived, to the resuscitation procedures,” Justin explained this behavior. However, the footage was destroyed after it was examined by the police.

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