Justin Lyons, the wildlife show's cameraman, opened up about the finale moments of Steve Irwin's life: "He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying.'"
Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin tragically died after being fatally stung by a stingray in 2006. The Australian was filming for the documentary 'Ocean's Deadliest' at the time, while snorkelling at Batt Reef near Port Douglas, Queensland.
And for the first time ever, the only person who witnessed the incident, Irwin's cameraman Justin Lyons, opened up about this tragic death.
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"I remember it really very clearly," Justin told the hosts at Australian news show Studio 10.
"We found a massive stingray, this one was extraordinarily large, massive, almost eight feet [long], so it was very impressive," he continued.
"We were only in chest-deep water, and we stood up and talked about what we were going to do, we always made a bit of a plan beforehand if we were going to film underwater."
Lyons then went to explain the events that led up to the fatal blow by the "giant" stingray.
"Stingrays are normally very calm. If they don't want to be around you then they'll just swim away. They're normally very fast swimmers," he said. "I thought this was going to be a great shot and all of a sudden it propped up on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, hundreds of strikes within a few seconds, they're incredibly powerful animals."
"[The stingray] probably thought that Steve's shadow was a tiger shark, which feeds on them very regularly, so it started attacking...I didn't even know that it had caused any damage. It wasn't until I panned back that I see that Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood," he added.
Watch Justin Lyons interview below
An emotional Lyons then recalled the very last moments of his good friend's life, "I was saying to him things like, 'Think of your kids, Steve,'" he said. "He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying.'"
"It was seconds but it felt like forever. Even if we had been able to get him to an emergency ward at that moment, we probably wouldn't have been able to save him because the damage to his heart was so massive," Irwin's right-hand man concluded.
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