The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin may have survived the deadly stingray attack. It is being reported that after getting stab in the chest by the stingray’s barb, Steve pulled the barb out of his chest. Steve’s manager, John Stainton, says the following:
It shows Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest). He pulled it out and the next minute he’s gone. The cameraman had to shut down. It’s a very hard thing to watch because you’re actually witnessing somebody die … it’s terrible.
By pulling the barb out of his chest, Steve may have done more damage to himself than if he just left it in. Dr. Bryan Fry, deputy director of the Australian Venom Research Unit, says:
The strongly serrated barb is capable of tearing and rendering flesh. It’s not the going in that causes the damage, it’s the coming out where those deep serrations kind of pull on the flesh, and you end up with a very jagged tear which is quite a pronounced injury.
You can tell Irwin was dazed and confuse after being barbed by the stingray, that’s the only explanation for Steve reaching for and removing the barb out of his chest.