Cameraman Justin Lyons was there the day that Steve Irwin was killed, shooting footage with him in the Great Barrier Reef. He was getting one last shot of Irwin swimming behind a stingray when the giant beast reared up and starting stabbing him wildly in the chest. It happened so quickly, Lyons said, that he didn’t even know anything was wrong at first.
When Lyons panned out with the camera, he saw that Steve was “standing in a huge pool of blood” and realized that he had been badly injured. The cameraman approached and assessed the damage. He would later describe the wound by saying that the “jagged, sharp barb … went through Steve’s chest like a hot knife through butter.”
A second camera continued rolling as Lyons and other crew members tried to save Irwin. This was done because they had been asked to capture any attacks on tape. Sadly, the stingray had pierced Irwin’s heart, killing him. His last words, spoken to Lyons: “I’m dying.”
All of this footage was handed over to Queensland police for their investigation. Copies of the tape, which was described by producer John Stainton as “too disturbing to ever be shown,” were destroyed after review, save for two: one which was given to Terri (who promptly destroyed it), and one that presumably sits in the police vault, never to be seen by the public.