The man known as “The Crocodile Hunter” has kicked the bucket, but interestingly enough it wasn’t a croc that got him:
The naturalist and television star Steve Irwin has died in a diving accident in far north Queensland. He was 44.
Police say he was stung through the heart by a stingray while diving off Port Douglas.
He was filming a documentary when the accident occurred around midday AEST near the Low Isles.
A helicopter arrived with paramedics on board to try to resuscitate him, but it was too late.
A more detailed account is available through The Sydney Morning Herald:
Friends believe he may have died instantly when struck by a stingray as he filmed a sequence for his eight-year-old daughter Bindi’s new TV series.
Irwin’s friend of 20 years, Ferre De Deyne said Irwin had been struck by the stingray while filming. “The stingray just happened to be swimming around and out of the blue whacked his tail at him,” he said.
“It is absolutely tragic. I have dived so many times with stingrays and they are usually very placid things,” he said.
Irwin had been filming a new documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest with friend and manager John Stainton at Batt Reef, off Port Douglas about 11am.
“He came over the top of a stingray and the stingray’s barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart,” Mr Stainton said.
“It’s likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don’t think that he … felt any pain.
“He died doing what he loved best.”
That he did. I wasn’t a big fan of Irwin myself, but I did find him at least slightly amusing in how much he seemed to annoy everyone else. One thing that can’t be denied is how he had become a pop icon all around the world.
Big thanks to LJ19 for sending this in via email.