Monday, September 04, 2006

Such sad news . . . . Irwin's genuine enthusiasm for all creatures great and small was infectious, and will be missed.

Stingray kills 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin
By BRIAN CASSEY, Associated Press Writer

"Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44."

"Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said."

"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin's boat at the time."

With all the extremely dangerous animals he dealt with, it's a strange twist of fate that the relatively benign stingray would do him in. Stingrays are extremely common along the coast where I live, and we were taught to do the "stingray shuffle" as children - - meaning you shuffle your feet along the sand when entering the ocean to give them a chance to move along. People get stung when they step on them, but the sting is generally uncomfortable, not life threatening . . .

The Crocodile Hunter will be missed.


Blogger ffleur said...

such a weird, freak accident.

I think I read the barb went right into his heart and he died pretty instantly.

Maybe people should wear vests with some sort of lightweight
"bullet proof" protection when diving with those critters.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

ffleur - every time I saw one of the shows, he was swimming in his khaki shorts and shirt! I think you are right that a vest or wetsuit might have helped, but as you say - just a freak accident!

8:36 PM  

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