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Steve Irwin's father has admitted his anger that a cameraman divulged details of the popular Australian naturalist's tragic death.

Victoria-born Irwin, 44, died in September 2006 when he was attacked by a stingray off the Great Barrier Reef during filming of an underwater documentary entitled 'Ocean's Deadliest'.

Cameraman Justin Lyons broke his silence on the accident last year when he told a Channel 10 interview how Irwin was stabbed hundreds of times by the venomous tail of the stingray, resulting in a deadly blow that punctured his heart.

Now Bob Irwin - father of the man dubbed 'the Crocodile Hunter' - has said he was devastated when the harrowing details of his son's death became public.

"I personally felt very sad and to a degree angry about what Justin had to say," said Mr Irwin, during an interview with ABC's 'Australian Story'. "For a lot of people trying to get on with their lives without Steve - it wasn't something that helped by any means."

Mr Irwin senior had previous declined an offer by another member of his son's team to discuss the incident with him shortly after it happened.

But during his interview last year Lyons told how he and Steve Irwin had been filming the stingray for a while, and decided to get one last shot of the daredevil naturalist swimming up behind the animal off Batt Reef, Queensland.

"All of a sudden it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds," said Lyons, who believed the stingray might have mistaken the naturalist for a tiger shark.

But only after he had filmed the stingray swimming away did he realise Irwin was seriously injured. "It wasn't until I panned the camera back (and saw) that Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood that I realised something had gone wrong."

Describing Irwin's last moments, he said: "As we're motoring back, I'm screaming at one of the other crew in the boat to put their hand over the wound and we're saying to him things like, 'Think of your kids, Steve. Hang on, hang on, hang on.' He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying'. And that was the last thing he said."

Footage of the fatal attack was reviewed by investigators, but all copies were subsequently destroyed.



Steve Irwin's father angry over stingray attack interview
Digital Mag

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