The Steve Irwin death video has been turned over to the coroner. Steve Irwin's manager has revealed the video footage capturing the wildlife experts dying was "shocking" in TV interviews. Irwin, 44, was fatally injured when a stingray pierced his chest with its poisonous barbed tail, while filming a documentary in Australia's Great Barrier Reef yesterday.
Boat owner Peter West viewed the footage soon afterwards and told the Australian: "The footage shows him swimming in the water, the ray stopped and turned and that was it.
There was no blood in the water, it was not that obvious, something happened with this animal that made it rear and he was at the wrong position at the wrong time and if it hit him anywhere else we would not be talking about a fatality."
His manager John Stainton said the film made for painful watching.
He said at a press conference today: "It shows that 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.
"He always pushed himself to the very limits but I thought he was invulnerable and I think he did too. It's a very hard thing to watch because you're actually witnessing somebody die... it's terrible."
The first e-mail question The National Ledger received after we published the fact that there was a video of the actual sting to the heart was "How long until this is plastered all over the web?"
I hope never - but the answer may not be what you think.
A report from Contact Music UK claims Irwin's family are determined to respect his last wishes and allow the harrowing footage to be broadcast.
CMUK reports that Irwin once insisted, "My number one rule is to keep that camera rolling. Even if it's shaky or slightly out of focus, I don't give a rip. "Even if a big old alligator is chewing me up I want to go down and go, 'Crikey!' just before I die. That would be the ultimate for me."
An insider tells British newspaper the Daily Star, "This is exactly what Steve would have wanted. He knew the dangers and was totally up for the cameras to get everything."
If that was indeed his wish and if it is broadcast, I hope it is with the family's blessing on a TV show. I certainly hope it does not leak to the web first.