LATEST: Australian naturalist Steve Irwin managed to pull the stingray's barb which killed him out of his chest before he died yesterday (04SEP06). Video footage of the fatal attack shows THE CROCODILE HUNTER star swimming above the stingray on the Great Barrier Reef before it suddenly spears him in the heart with its serrated tail, Irwin's manager John Stainton claims. He says, "It shows Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest). "He pulled it out and the next minute he's gone. The cameraman had to shut down. It's a very hard thing to watch because you're actually witnessing somebody die ... it's terrible." DR BRYAN FRY, deputy director of the Australian Venom Research Unit, says, "The strongly serrated barb is capable of tearing and rendering flesh. "It's not the going in that causes the damage, it's the coming out where those deep serrations kind of pull on the flesh, and you end up with a very jagged tear which is quite a pronounced injury." The charismatic star was diving off Australia's northeast coast filming an underwater documentary. Although paramedics rushed the 44-year-old to hospital by helicopter, he was dead before they arrived, police said.