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Steve Irwin

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The species [is] ... Dasyatis brevicaudata (smooth stingray), which is the largest stingray.

Rays aren't dangerous until provoked. With such a big boy, the barb is longer and strikes are more powerful than a spotted, making it more dangerous. I'm sure you've heard about that Korean diver in Bali.

 

That makes sense. Smooth stingrays (D. brevicaudata) can be huge, up to 2 meter wingspan. I've heard about a couple of other fatal incidents with stingrays, but didn't know there had been one here in Bali.

 

David Strike, in an email, noted that:

 

"When I first arrived in Oz, the Navy had a diving museum - the exhibits from

which were subsequently lost when it was closed down. One of those exhibits

was the barb from a stingray - mounted on a board - that had pierced through

the leather harness of a CDBA rebreather and the suit of a navy diver and

killed him outright back in the early sixties."

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I heard it wasn't even shooting for the "dangerous creatures" show .. I heard he was swimming with his daughter or something like that for something completely different as the weather was too bad to film that day.

 

Is a great shame .. i'll never forget my croc feeding at Australia Zoo .. good times.

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That's right Giles. He was out shooting for a children's show(starring Bindi) while killing time when it happened.

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The crazy thing was he pulled out the barb before he died.

 

Sad to say, that (ie pulling it out) may be what killed him. Granted I am absolutely sure that I would not have the self control necessary to leave a barb in place in my chest, but one of the first rules of acute field care for thoracic penetrating trauma is to leave the penetrating object in place, stabilising with bandages etc, until you can assess further at a trauma centre. Patients with great vessel trauma who survive to reach a trauma surgeon show survival rates up to 71% in some studies. Pulling out the penetrating object can cause greater rate of hemorrhage and further damage to intra-thoracic structures.

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Michaela, who is very talented at researching, located this article entitled An Analysis of Marine Animal Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in Victoria, Australia which outlines a study reviewing presentations over a five-year period. Interestingly, spikes, spines, and barbs caused 40% of the injuries in the study, although the authors suggest this may be an underestimation. The study is also from a temperate rather than tropical environment.

 

Also interesting is that dolphins have fallen victim to stingrays - search for "barb" on this page from the WA Museum.

Edited by anthp

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It sounds like it went into his heart...so unlucky..but you should never swim very close right over the top of them. I was at Monkey Mia filming them in very shallow water once and I used my pole cam to get in real close over the top of them as there was just not enough water between us.

 

Here is a barb from a Bull Ray just to give you and idea of how big the barbs can get.

post-4240-1157518186_thumb.jpg

 

And here is a couple Bull Rays sitting on the sand.

post-4240-1157518242_thumb.jpg

 

What a way to go out though....now a Croc maybe but a Bull Ray...how unlucky. :)

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I have to think that the toxin injected directly into the heart muscle would have done him in.

 

He was a larger then life, over the top character who was having the time of his life bringing more awareness to animals....what couldn't you like about that?

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Sad to say, that (ie pulling it out) may be what killed him. Granted I am absolutely sure that I would not have the self control necessary to leave a barb in place in my chest, but one of the first rules of acute field care for thoracic penetrating trauma is to leave the penetrating object in place, stabilising with bandages etc, until you can assess further at a trauma centre. Patients with great vessel trauma who survive to reach a trauma surgeon show survival rates up to 71% in some studies. Pulling out the penetrating object can cause greater rate of hemorrhage and further damage to intra-thoracic structures.

 

Well he's experienced with land animals and the first thing you are trained to do is get it off you. And you're right, the cerrated barb probably did a lot of damage being pulled out. Then the envenomation fear.

My closest experience to that is getting stabbed in the back by a mugger. It's reflex to pull away. Fortunately I have minor penetration but it wasn't fun.

I always think hearing about someone dying in circumstances that one finds themselves in regularly is that 40% of the shock is more "it could've been me?!?"

 

Dave, not to speak ill of the dead, but I never liked his over the top handling of wildlife. Some stupid kid might just think it's ok to pull on a rattler or cobra. It makes for "better" TV though I suppose.

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Just to clear up a little ambiguity I’m experiencing about this tragic event, was the Stingray still attached to the barb when he pulled the barb out of his chest, or had it already broken off?

 

If the Stingray was still attached to the barb, then I can clearly see his rationale in removing the barb. If it was broken off, then it was indeed an unfortunate act in removing the barb. He may not have realized the depth of the wound when he removed the barb.

 

While I felt a little uncomfortable with the close interaction with the animals in his show, I was always amazed to watch a person dedicated to a job they obviously loved. The dedication that Steve felt for his cause obviously carried the show and overshadowed everything else.

 

May he rest in peace. My condolences to the family.

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"I'm sure you've heard about that Korean diver in Bali."

 

No, and any helpful hints to newer divers are appreciated. I just photographed the largest southern stingray I've ever see in Cozumel. I gave him a wide berth while trying to photograph him in the sand. Before I could snap a 2nd shot, a fellow diver swam over the top of him and he bolted for deeper water. I wonder if they even knew how well equipped these guys are?

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It was interesting to see the papers here in Cayman after it happened .. of course we want to keep the tourists going to Sting Ray City

 

http://www.caymannetnews.com/cgi-script/cs...0056/005635.htm

 

while it is a loss for TV and wildlife lovers it has to be noted he was doing something he shouldn't have beendoing .. and that is generally why they say .. dont try this at home.

 

Accidcents no matter how experienced you are can happen.

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Sorry to hear about Steve Irwin.

 

took this picture of a small spider crab two days ago, I didnt see what was right under my nose in the black lava sand. :rolleyes:

 

Ted

post-5424-1157568539_thumb.jpg

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Very tragic news indeed, My heart goes out to Steve's family and close friends. Every time I watched him dangle a Mamba or Cobra from it's tail I thought about how lucky he was to still be alive. If you stare death in the face as many times as he did then surely he must have thought that someday death would take notice and stare back. But never had I thought that a ray would get him, as someone who has spent countless dives with big rays throughout my 30+ years as a diver and dive instructor I guess it just shows how we can easily underestimate the size, power and motivations of the creatures we love so dearly and spend out lives trying to be with.

 

Peace be with you Steve,

 

Doug

Edited by scubag

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Yes it really is sad to hear of Steve's unfortunate death. To clear up some questions I have read here, an interview I seen on this said Steve's daughter did not see the accident and was not on the Croc One. She was with her mom on vacation.

 

Here is a more detailed article with comments from the cameraman that was with Steve when it happened.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...112-601,00.html

 

I for one hope they do release the video footage of this, just edit out the final second before the barb actually pierces Steve. This video footage could serve to prevent further accidents and deaths with the thousands of snorkelers and divers worldwide for generations to come.

 

I have written several emails to CNN, Animal Planet, and Steves www.wildlifewarriors.com.au asking them to reconsider destroying the video footage as Steve's producer said he would in a CNN interview. I hope others here will do the same if you agree with me.

 

Most snorkelers are clueless about rays, but I'm sure this accident will bring alot of awareness and hopefully education. I feel the real important lesson here to learn is that when divers are swimming together around rays, they should not trap the ray in between them. Giving the ray ample room to escape if he feels threatened. As well, keep some distance from them and/or just let the ray come to you.

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