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Steve Irwin's long-term friend caught his heartbreaking last words on camera

Steve Irwin's long-term friend caught his heartbreaking last words on camera

The beloved conservationist and TV personality died in 2006

Steve Irwin’s friend and cameraman was with him on the day he tragically died, inadvertently catching his final words on film.

Justin Lyon was a long-term crew member working with Irwin on his numerous documentaries throughout his career.

He was also with him while filming Ocean’s Deadliest on the Great Barrier Reef in 2006, when Irwin was tragically killed by a stingray.

Justin said they had been out recording when they spotted the giant stingray swimming towards them and decided to film it.

Justin says that after several minutes of filming, Steve had suggested they took ‘one last shot’ and this is when things went drastically wrong.

He told the Australian morning program Studio 10: “I had the camera and thought this was going to be a great shot. But all a sudden the stingray propped on its front and started stabbing Steve with its tail.

Steve Irwin died in 2006.
YouTube/Australia Zoo

“There were hundreds of strikes within just a few seconds.”

The rapid barbed strikes pierced Steve’s chest, leaving him gasping for his breath.

Justin said Steve was pulled back into the boat, where he immediately got to grips with the gravity of the situation.

While Steve was struggling, Justin said he urged his friend to think of his family.

He recalled: “He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying’. And that was the last thing he said.

"We hoped for a miracle. I did CPR on him for over an hour before the medics came, but then they pronounced him dead within 10 seconds of looking at him.”

Steve, who was just 44, was survived by his adoring wife Terri and two children Bindi and Robert, who were eight and three at the time.

Steve Irwin grew the Australia Zoo with his family.
Australia Zoo

Now young adults, Bindi and Robert have done their animal-loving dad proud, following in his footsteps at the family-run Australia Zoo.

Last month, Robert shared an incredibly moving moment with fans.

Taking to social media, the conservationist revealed that a species, discovered by his late dad, would be joining Australia Zoo.

During the clip, the 19-year-old is overwhelmed with emotion as he releases the reptile into the water, explaining: “This is one of the highlights of my entire life… and one of the most special moments ever for Australia Zoo, this is the very first Elseya irwini, Irwin’s Turtle, hatched for any zoological facility anywhere in the world.”

The young conservationist shared a photo of his late dad before releasing the small turtle in its new enclosure.

“It’s just so surreal and all the stories from Dad about how amazing and beautiful they are,” he said, adding: “Dad would be stoked with that.”

Featured Image Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic / YouTube / Animal Planet

Topics: Steve Irwin