Patterico's Pontifications


R.I.P. Steve Irwin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:25 am

Dafydd ab Hugh notes that Steve Irwin, that Australian guy who was always sticking his head in crocodiles’ mouths, has died — of a sting from a venomous sting ray.

I remember going to Sting Ray City in the Caymans and chuckling when one of my sisters was freaked out by the sting rays. I don’t know if they were venomous or not, but I confess I never really thought of sting rays as fatal to humans. I know better now.

16 Responses to “R.I.P. Steve Irwin”

  1. Oh jeez, that’s such a shame. He was only forty-four, with two nippers, and everyone says his wife Terri is a total sweetheart.

    This is going to be so hard for her and them. There’s nothing to be done but pray for them to come through it OK. Or as OK as anyone can ve with their husband and father dead.

    This is the kind of accident that could have happened to anyone diving and leading an active life. Just one of those things – so sad.

    David Blue (2e9a57)

  2. I think the stingray barb penetrated/puntured his heart and that’s what took his life.

    Laddy (f90c92)

  3. His wife Terri, a former Oregon resident, reminds me a lot of Pam Dawber in the old Mork and Mindy series.

    dchamil (18f0bc)

  4. This is the kind of accident that could have happened to anyone — anyone diving and playing with poisonous stingrays. I wonder if they’ll include a video of the event in the documentary. It certainly would serve as a cautionary tale.

    dchamil (18f0bc)

  5. I understand that only 17 people worldwide are known to have died from a stingray. It’s not very likely to happen to anybody, and as Laddy pointed out, this one the stinger punctured his heart. It’s truly a freak accident.

    Our 8 y.o. son is mourning, as he says, because he ‘really liked that guy.’
    His enthusiasm for wildlife and life itself was infectious.

    deputyheadmistress (f54022)

  6. he was a likeable fellow, but he seemed to court hazard unnecessarily.

    assistant devil's advocate (623580)

  7. Apart from the size, the stingrays at Stingray City are similar to those that killed Steve. Yes, they do have venomous spines in their tails, mostly used for self-defense against predators.

    Most people that have encounters with stingrays step on them in shallow water, and the ray responds by jabbing its spike into the offender’s calf. To visualize it, think of how a scorpion stings; a stingray’s spike works in the same fashion as the tail of the scorpion. I’ve been stung myself, in the finger while fishing, and the pain is worse than a bee sting, but not as bad as a venomous snakebite. Painful, but not excruciating.

    Rest In Peace, Steve. My thoughts to your family.

    Robert (91f2c5)

  8. Just you wait the jerks at PETA will claim he died becuase he disturbed the peace and homony of the sea creatures i mean these PETA dolts say anything to get in the news

    krazy kagu (e08c0e)

  9. he was a likeable fellow, but he seemed to court hazard unnecessarily.

    Comment by assistant devil’s advocate
    Well, assistant devil’s advocate, to quote George Orwell, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    The above quote generally applies to the bravery of soldiers, but the way this quote relates to the courageous Mr. Irwin, is that Irwin was willing to take the ‘risk’ which enabled the public to learn more about creatures.

    There are numerous occupations which involve risk to one’s personal safety, but their risk provides society and humanity with enormous benefits.

    R.I.P. Steve Irwin

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  10. This was a guy who started at age four, when his parents gave up their well-paid professions and regular paychecks in order to follow their passions and open a game park in Australia – basically, he was a born showman.

    I have three kids who grew up watching Steve regularly – through every re-run, every show – and who are far better for having done so. One will very likely end up in a related profession as a result of having watched someone who obviously loved their work and their life so much.

    Our junior high put on a quick announcement/memorial today. Haven’t seen so many “tough” seventh and eighth graders with damp eyes for a while. We should all have his enthusiasm and his passion.

    bobby_b (dc23d7)

  11. Sting rays can be enormous in Australia. They are not the same species found in the US. The sting looks like a steak knife on some of these things” The giant Australian stingray can reach 6 to 7 feet across the wings and weigh 750 pounds.”

    Mirra (d17ab3)

  12. People often confuse Sting Rays with Manta Rays. Sting Rays are deadly. Manta Rays are not. In fact you can actually pet Manta Rays in the shallow tide pool at the Long Beach Aquarium. Cute critters.

    Justin Levine (d8da01)

  13. Actually, just to clarify my previous comment: Even the sting from a Sting Ray is usually not fatal per se. But unfortunately from what I understand, Steve Irwin got stung directly in the heart – so he ended up being killed instantly due to the freak location of the wound.

    Justin Levine (d8da01)

  14. Stingrays are fatal to humans just as spoons are fatal to humans.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  15. Never swim with spoons.

    bobby_b (dc23d7)

  16. The untimely passing of Steve Irwin is a great tragedy. This has effected my family more than I could have imagined; he has been a great influence on myself and my two boys. The world will never be the same. In the past, I have dealt with this type of emotional pain through music. Being a song writer and composer, I have written musical compositions and songs to honour friends, family, and fallen heroes to ease the pain and commemorate the contributions they’ve made in life. Steve falls under the obvious catagory of “HERO.” Please accept and share with the world this musical tribute in honour of the great “CROCODILE HUNTER” Steve Irwin.. WE LOVE YOU STEVE!!!!

    David James

    P.S. – You can visit me at:
    and download the musical tribute “THE MIGHTY STEVE”

    David james (a3926c)

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