For the very first time, the man who witnessed Steve Irwin’s final moments is speaking out about the crocodile hunter’s tragic death.

Cameraman Justin Lyons recalled how a giant stingray “wildly” stabbed Irwin “hundreds of times,” saying the creature’s tail went through his chest “like a hot knife through butter.”

He also revealed the conservationist’s chilling — and calm — last words: “I’m dying.”

“Justin Lyons has spoken for the first time since he filmed the stingray strike out at Irwin in shallow water in far north Queensland eight years ago,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. “Lyons said he and Irwin had headed out from the main boat in an inflatable to find something to film when they came across a ‘massive’ stingray in chest-high water.”

Contradicting speculation that Irwin provoked the stingray, Lyons said the final shot was supposed to be the ray swimming away from him. “Instead, the 2.4-metre ray struck out, possibly thinking Irwin’s shadow was a predatory tiger shark,” the report adds.

Watch Lyons’ entire interview with Studio 10 below: