Bindi Irwin has hit back at the man who witnessed her father Steve Irwin’s death and said the sadness of losing him will never go away.
Bindi Irwin has criticised the cameraman who filmed Steve Irwin’s death, labelling his graphic public recount of the Crocodile Hunter’s painful final moments hurtful.
Earlier this year Justin Lyons, a good friend of Irwin and the sole witness of his death, described for the first time how a massive stingray wildly stabbed the conservationist “hundreds of times” eight years ago.
Irwin had been filming a documentary series, Ocean’s Deadliest, when the 2.4-metre ray struck out at the 44-year-old in shallow water as it was swimming away from him.
“I had the camera on, I thought this is going to be a great shot, and all of sudden it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds,” Lyons said in March during an interview on Network Ten’s morning show Studio 10.
Lyons also recounted the crocodile hunter’s calm final words “I’m dying”, after the jagged barb pierced his chest “like hot butter”.
“He had a two-inch-wide injury over his heart with blood and fluid coming out of it and we had to get him back to the boat as fast as we can,” he said.
The stingray attack, the CPR and medical efforts were all captured on film, but have never been released.
Despite Lyon’s declaration that the footage should never be aired out of respect for Irwin’s family, Bindi has now hit back, saying he should never have spoken of the incident at all.
“It’s really hurtful,” she told the latest edition of Who magazine.
“For as long as I live, I’ll never listen to it. It’s wrong as a family for us to hear about it.”
Bindi, who was eight when Irwin’s death sparked an international outpouring of grief, spoke in depth about her loss to coincide with her 16th birthday.
She said much of the advice she received on coping was well-meaning but misguided.
“I remember after we lost dad, so many adults came up to me and said, ‘Honey, time heals all wounds,'” said Bindi, who still lives at Queensland’s Australia Zoo with mother Terri and brother Robert, now 10.
“That is the biggest lie you will ever hear. It doesn’t. That part of you is gone forever … that kind of sadness never goes away. It’s like losing a piece of your heart that you never get back.”