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Steve Irwin Dead 1004

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fighting-muffin-to-the-chest dept.
mkosmo writes "News.com.au is reporting that Steve Irwin was killed in a freak accident while filming one of his well known documentaries. Surprisingly it wasn't a crocodile, it was a sting-ray."
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Steve Irwin Dead

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  • by akeyes (720106) <akeyes+slashdot@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:43AM (#16035855) Homepage
    News.com is reporting that

    Should be News.com.au

  • by 1stdoc (959919) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:47AM (#16035878)
    .. it's sad to see him go. As an Australian it was always a bit embarassing the way he perpetuated that particular stereotype but he did a lot of good for the country, not just for tourism but for conservation as well. A fair chunk of his money went straight back to buying up tracts of land for conservation.
  • by Americano (920576) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:10AM (#16036012)
    IANASE (... not a stingray expert), but according to this article: [potamotrygon.de]

    Stingrays are generally non-aggressive and intelligent creatures. They have been called the "pussycat of the sea," and devotees of diving programs on educational TV are often treated to images of scuba divers hitching a ride with some of the larger forms. This is a precarious activity at best, however, since the stingray's spine is in a perfect position to inflict injury to a human pressed against their dorsum. And if frightened, roughly handled, or captured, they react quickly by using their tail to place the sting in close contact with the object of their discomfort. Stingrays cannot raise or lower their stings voluntarily. The wound they inflict comes from the arching forward flick of their muscular tail. Envenomation occurs when the tip of the spine penetrates the ray's integumentary sheath and lacerates the skin of the victim simultaneously.

    Human injuries also occur during stingray capture, when people attempt to haul them into a boat. Another common scenario is for the victim, wading in shallow water, to accidentally step on a stingray buried just beneath the sand. In these instances, the ray flicks up its tail, usually lacerating the leg. Contrary to popular "nature documentaries," it is extremely hazardous to swim directly over, or in close proximity to, a stingray. A flick of the tail is apt to pierce a person's body, and a serious, even potentially fatal, situation is in the offing.

    The same article goes on to say [potamotrygon.de]:

    Stingray injury has two aspects: 1) immediate physical trauma from the powerful penetrating action of the spine, and 2) envenomation at the site of the wound with the contents of the ray's integumentary sheath. Although venom is not always deposited during a "sting incident," these two insults often work in dangerous synchrony.

    Most traumatic injuries inflicted by rays occur to the lower limbs of bathers and boaters, and to the hands and arms of fisherman, hobbyists and other handlers. If a major blood vessel is lacerated, hemorrhage can occur and could even be fatal. There is at least one case in the literature of a victim whose femoral artery was pierced by the spine of a stingray; the victim bled to death. In about 5% of such injuries, the spine is broken off and remains in the wound, especially when the fish is pulled off the victim. Penetration of any part of the trunk (chest, abdomen, groin) is a serious medical emergency. Introduction of the ray's necrotizing venom directly into the body cavity of a person has been known to cause insidious necrotizing effects on the heart and other internal organs, and death is often inevitable.
  • Re:Invincible (Score:3, Informative)

    by plover (150551) * on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:17AM (#16036045) Homepage Journal
    "That's a joke... I say, that's a joke, son." [wikipedia.org]

    Actually, it's a line [imdb.com] from The Princess Bride. [imdb.com] Sorry, I thought EVERYBODY had seen that movie, it's a classic.

  • The real deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by paxmaniac (988091) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:19AM (#16036056)
    Steve Irwin was the real deal. He really cared about the environment he worked in. It was revealed earlier this year that he successfully lobbied the Federal Government to oppose plans for the creation of a crocodile 'game hunting' tourist industry in the Northern Territory. He did it privately and quietly - it was only reported after it came to light through freedom of information requests.

    link [theage.com.au]

    My hat goes off to you Steve, and my condolences to your family.
  • Re:oblig (Score:1, Informative)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:37AM (#16036149)
    I spell it like an Australian would - that Australian being me, specifically. Seriously, arguing over the spelling of a neologism is pretty pathetic. You idiot.
  • by rifter (147452) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:47AM (#16036195) Homepage

    Speaking of which, who was watching the kids anyway?

    They were probably with her. They took the kids with them on their trips. One thing Steve and Terry had in common was that their own childhoods were spent trekking through wilderness with their parents learning about wildlife. Steve often recounted how he had learned to handle reptiles while following in his father's footsteps as a young boy.

  • Re:Thanks Steve (Score:4, Informative)

    by johansalk (818687) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:54AM (#16036217)
    And here it is just like you said "that's my boy... ouch!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EJFJb77Jdw [youtube.com]
  • by thejynxed (831517) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:03AM (#16036265) Homepage
    From: http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&link=Sti ngrays&category=Shark%20Research&submenu=INFO [mote.org]

    The venom apparatus or "sting" of a stingray is a spine or modified dermal denticle (the scales covering sharks and stingrays) with two ventral grooves filled with venom-producing tissue. The venom apparatus is surrounded by a cell-rich covering or sheath that also may produce lesser amounts of venom. The venom itself is a largely protein-based toxin that causes great pain in mammals and may also alter heart rate and respiration. However, since it is proteinaceous, it can be inactivated by exposure to high temperatures. Because of this, immersion of the wound in hot water or application of a heat compress are recommended as an immediate treatment for unfortunate victims of a stingray injury or "envenomation." Although this may reduce the initial pain of a stingray injury, victims should still obtain medical assistance so that the wound can be properly examined and cleaned to avoid secondary infections or other complications.

    As mentioned above, the sting on most pelagic stingrays is situated near the base of the tail. This may discourage predators from biting the animal near its vital organs. In contrast, the sting of most bottom-dwelling stingrays is located further away from the body, making it a more effective and dangerous "striking" weapon. However, it should be pointed out that the sting is purely a defensive weapon only and that the "striking" action is an involuntary response rather than a conscious "attack."

    Stingers usually range from 4cm to 6 inches. And they are barbed and venemous. So, if this was a large stingray with a large stinger, it is easy to understand how he could have perished from receiving a direct blow to the chest from one of these.
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:07AM (#16036286) Journal
    He was feeding a croc with one hand while holding his kid in the other.

    I don't care if it was a "calculated" risk... crocodiles can go from sitting dead like a lump on a log to clamping their jaw around your leg in a split second. There is absolutely no calculating anything with a croc. There is no minimum safe distance from a croc except 20 feet behind a very high and thick concrete fence.

    Crocs can and do nail gazelles. Was Steve Irwin faster than a gazelle? No? Then his kid was in mortal danger, and he put him there.

    That and the way he molested female pigs, etc., makes me have very little respect for him.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:11AM (#16036299)
    A warning to Americans thinking of "liberating" Australia at any time in the future (should we ever find much larger resources of oil here).

    Of the Worlds top 10 most poisonous animals, we have the #1 all the way through to #9. It was previously beleived that we had 1-8, however a snake previously thought to be extinct, recently killed a man, bringing as back to 1-9. That does of course exclude all the other dangerous animals, like Crocs (including the salty, which loves to come up on our beaches, out of the lovely surf and snap-up a Yankee snack), wild dingos, sharks, etc.

    Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! Aussie! Oi! Aussie! Oi! Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!!!

    If you try to get our Great Barrel of Oil (Great Barrier Reef), the Stingray Gods will get you.
  • Re:Respect (Score:2, Informative)

    by Voice of Meson (892271) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:28AM (#16036361)
    In fact Steve himself has joked about his own death. On the australian ABC's Enough Rope I remember him saying something like...

    "I've been doing this for 20 years without incident, yet the day something happens there's going to be a whole bunch of people saying "There, I told you he'd get bitten!""

    Still, when I fuck up at work the worst thing I catch is unpaid overtime.
  • by ZzzzSleep (606571) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:31AM (#16036368) Homepage Journal
    According to http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/09/04/11572 22051494.html [theage.com.au]
    Tasmania Police this afternoon confirmed Mr Irwin's American-born wife Terri was travelling in Tasmania, where she is reported to be trekking on Cradle Mountain.

    A spokeswoman said police had made contact with Mrs Irwin and "passed on a message relating to the death of her husband".
  • BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaptainDefragged (939505) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:59AM (#16036675)
    What a load of crap. Absolute drivel. The kids were with their mother in Tasmania. Anyone who knew anything about Steve and his family could never say such a thing. Their children are there passion. There was hardly a sentence out of Steve's mouth that didn't mention his children. They would do anything for them. If people would show have as much passion for their children as the Irwin's did, the world would be a far better place.
  • Re:oblig (Score:5, Informative)

    by legoburner (702695) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:29AM (#16036764) Homepage Journal
    Yes apparently he used a lot of the profits from his documentaries to buy up areas of land to make into conservation areas for wildlife.
  • not so uncommon (Score:2, Informative)

    by mennucc1 (568756) <d3slash@mennucc1.debian.net> on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:38AM (#16036794) Homepage Journal
    contrary to some opinions expressed above, death by sting-ray is not so improbable. Here is report of another case in Italy [repubblica.it].
  • Goodbye Mate (Score:2, Informative)

    by darrenadelaide (860548) on Monday September 04, 2006 @05:26AM (#16036909)
    Just a quick note to wish his family much love and regret for their loss.

    Having been to Australia Zoo a number of times and seeing first hand the number of risks Steve took it was a toal suprise that it was something so unexpected that a docile animal would be the one who was his undoing.

    One example I witness first hand was when he and a dozen blokes were moving a giant salty, he always was more concerned with the crocs health and safety than he was his own, and to see his face right next to the crocs snout really did blow me away, there wasnt anything false about Steve, what you see on TV was the guy in real life, he gave his all for the safety of the animals in his care and also wild out in their domain.

    The main point of Steve and Terri's life was conservation and about making the world a better place to which they were born, in this he will be very sorely missed here in australia as no doubt all over the world.

    Goodbye Mate.
  • Re:oblig (Score:5, Informative)

    by moldor.the.flatulent (778266) <jon@@@mandrake...net...au> on Monday September 04, 2006 @05:39AM (#16036939)
    Personally, I almost wet myself reading some of these comments...

    My cousin used to work for Steve, and saw him go from a bloody nice guy, to a media-driven egomaniac, and then come to his senses....

    He had a wicked sense of humor, and would think nothing of throwing (for example) a harmless snake to you and telling you it was venomous, and then pissing himself laughing when you soiled your pants - that's just the kind of guy he was..

    I only ever met him once, just after the incident where he had his kid in the croc pen, and remember being impressed by his love of animals, and his hatred of those who hurt them.

    This death will be like JFK, Elvis, or the Space Shuttle explosion - people will always remember where they were when Steve Irwin died - when one of the nurses at my Dr's surgery told me she said I went white.

    Funny though, I always had a vision of him with a croc attached to his nuts and making a joke as he went into the death roll..:-)

    R.I.P. Steve - and whichever way you went, up or down, give 'em hell... We'll miss you...

  • by svunt (916464) on Monday September 04, 2006 @05:39AM (#16036940) Homepage Journal
    I'll field this one. We Australians are, (forgive me my generalizations) uncouth, loud, boisterous, subtle-as-a-brick-in-the-face folks, and we drink a lot of beer & act like tools (Steve Irwin could do this sober).
  • Re:Thanks Steve (Score:4, Informative)

    by malsdavis (542216) * on Monday September 04, 2006 @06:59AM (#16037131)
    "Really, sneaking a nature show into a stunt show is what he did, and it's really sad that the odds caught up with him."

    The irony of it all is that he wasn't killed by one of the deadly animals he often encountered. Stingrays are not normally considered dangerous, they are extremely passive and gentle creatures, their sting is purely for self-defense.

    In fact, according to the http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/5311 298.stmBBC [bbc.co.uk], he is the first person in Australia to die from a Sting-ray since 1945!

    Truely, this is a tragic freak accident. I just hope all his conservation work (which was REAL conservation work not just for show) can be kept going.
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:56AM (#16037275)
    From what they've said on the TV here, it sounds like they were filming the stingray. Cameraman to the front, and Irwin over the top; the ray felt cornered and trapped, and reacted defensively.
  • Re:oblig (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @08:47AM (#16037456)
    Just in an case anyone missed it, or is from overseas and didn't see it the first time around:
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s9 60998.htm [abc.net.au] is a transcript of his interview on 06/10/2003.
  • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Monday September 04, 2006 @08:59AM (#16037509) Homepage
    Plus Dale Snr wore an open faced helmet simply because he was too arrogant to wear a proper one like everyone else.

    Arrogance had nothing to do with it. There was no rule in NASCAR requiring such a helmet, and Dale Sr. felt it restricted his vision and perception too much -- something that (in his opinion) could actually make driving more dangerous. In any event, a full helmet would have done nothing to save him, as it was his skull detaching from his spine due to rapid deceleration that killed him. A HANS device would have saved him, but that was also an "optional" safety device according to NASCAR rules. The rules have since been changed to make both safety devices mandatory.

    Earnhart had been driving in NASCAR for decades with no full helmet, no HANS device, and 60's-era safety devices we wouldn't put on a minivan today. He'd survived countless violent crashes with such protection. He knew the risks and was comfortable with them, otherwise he wouldn't climb in the car. It wasn't arrogance, it was simply a matter of the odds catching up to him. Even with today's safety enhancements, drivers are killed every now and then. It's a regrettable -- but unavoidable -- part of the sport, but that's no different than other "safe" sports. Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in an equestrian accident, for crying out loud. You simply can't engage in most vigorous sports without at least a minor risk of injury.
  • Re:Science???? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Scrameustache (459504) * on Monday September 04, 2006 @09:13AM (#16037568) Homepage Journal
    This is showbiz news, not science news!

    Steve Irwin was a respectd scientist, his field was ecological conservationism.
    He completed surveys and took blood samples, he gathered data, and he made documentaries to educate the public about misunderstood "monsters".
  • by mytrip (940886) on Monday September 04, 2006 @10:19AM (#16037905) Homepage Journal
    Stingrays normally flee at the first sign of trouble. There are two exceptions: if they are cornered or accidentally stepped on.

    Irwin's chest wound led some experts to speculate that he might have provoked the creature. "Unfortunately he may have contributed to his death because he got too close and the animal felt threatened," Dr Fry said.

    Wildlife filmmaker David Ireland said if a stingray barb hit any vital organs "it's as deadly as a bayonet".

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/end-would-h ave-been-agony/2006/09/04/1157222070815.html [theage.com.au]
  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:18AM (#16038283) Homepage Journal
    I find them to be loud at times, but generally friendly people who are easy to get along with, if one is willing to put up some eccentricies.

    Which, amusingly enough, sounds very similar to how most Americans view Australians. :)

  • Re:oblig (Score:2, Informative)

    by bwilli123 (683409) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:55PM (#16039984)
    It's spelled 'crikey'
  • by leonbrooks (8043) <SentByMSBlast-No ... .brooks.fdns.net> on Monday September 04, 2006 @05:57PM (#16040293) Homepage
    For example, the "AIDS drugs to Africa" campaign involved getting the US DoT to first shut down Brasilian companies which were already doing a fine job of shipping the same medications to Africa.

    And so on, across the board.

    Bill's idea of "philanthropy" seems to have a very stiff controlling aspect. Steve's philanthropy was/is more intersting & genuine.

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

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