Monday, September 4, 2006
The Tradgic Death of Steve Irwin.. The Crocodile hunter
"On 4 September 2006, Irwin was fatally pierced in the heart by a stingray barb, while diving off Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. He had been filming a segment for his daughter Bindi's upcoming television series. Irwin was in the area filming his own documentary, to be called Ocean's Deadliest, but weather had stalled filming. Irwin decided to take the opportunity to film some shallow water shots for his daughter's programme. The BBC reported that this was only the second known fatality in Australian history from a stingray attack, while The Age lists it as the third.
Shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time (01:00 UTC), Irwin was filming off the shores of Low Isles, Queensland, near Port Douglas and north of Cairns, where he was stung either through his heart, or through the left side of his chest. After he was stung, emergency services were called from Cairns Rescue Base and met Croc One, Irwin’s rescue vessel at Low Isle on the Great Barrier Reef. The Croc One crew performed constant CPR during the thirty-minute dash to Low Isle. The Queensland Rescue Helicopter responded, taking him to Cairns Base Hospital, where Irwin was pronounced dead on arrival at noon. He was not killed by the sting itself but from a puncture to the heart in turn causing cardiac arrest. The Queensland Police Service notified his family and released a statement for the media concerning his death. News of his death prompted a public outpouring expressing shock and loss. Several Australian news websites went down due to high web traffic and talk-back radio experienced a high volume of callers expressing their grief, commemorating his passion and exuberance. Prime Minister John Howard, among many other politicians, expressed his "shock and distress" at the death, saying that "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son.” Steve Irwin's body was flown to a morgue in Cairns, where stunned family and friends were gathering on Monday night. His wife Terri was told of her husband's death while on a walking tour in Tasmania, and returned to the Sunshine Coast with their two children."