#26 Steve Irwin
Born: February 22nd, 1962
Died: September 4th, 2006
Age at death: 44
Cause of death: Stingray injury to the heart
Steve Irwin died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming at Batt Reef in Queensland, Australia for the documentary series Ocean’s Deadliest. The stinger penetrated Irwin’s thoracic wall and heart, causing massive trauma and bleeding. Crew members who were with Irwin at the time administered CPR on the wildlife expert and then rushed him to the nearby Low Isles, where medical staff pronounced him dead.
Footage of the incident was viewed by Queensland state police as part of their mandatory investigations. All copies of the footage were then destroyed at the behest of Irwin’s family. Aside from a still image of Irwin with the text “In Memory of Steve,” the documentary contains no mention of his death when it aired in 2007.
Irwin achieved worldwide fame while co-hosting the wildlife documentary series The Crocodile Hunter from 1996 to 2007 with his wife Terri. The pair were also the presenters of the series Croc Files (1999–2001), The Crocodile Hunter Diaries (2002–2006), and New Breed Vets (2005). They also co-owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin’s parents in Beerwah, Queensland.