http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20349888-2,00.html By staff writers September 04, 2006 02:14pm Article from: Font size: + - Send this article: Print Email THE Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, is dead. He was killed in a freak accident in Cairns, police sources said today. It is understood he was killed by a stingray barb that went through his chest and reportedly into his heart . He was swimming off the Low Isles at Port Douglas filming an underwater documentary when the tragedy occured. The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) was called about 11am (AEST) and an emergency services helicopter was flown to the crew's boat on Batt Reef, off the coast near Cairns, with a doctor and emergency services paramedic on board. Irwin had a puncture wound to the left side of his chest and was pronounced dead at the scene. Irwin's body is being flown to Cairns. Tasmania Police this afternoon confirmed his wife Terri was travelling in the state at the time of the tragedy. A spokeswoman said police had made contact with Mrs Irwin and "passed on a message relating to the death of her husband". The Irwins have two children - a daughter, Bindi Sue Irwin, eight, and a three-year-old son, Robert (Bob) Clarence Irwin. Steve Irwin - known worldwide as the Crocodile Hunter - was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry "Crikey!". In an sad twist, it has been reported that his new documentary was aimed at demystifying the stingray. Irwin's Crocodile Hunter program was first broadcast in 1992 and has been shown around the world on cable network Discovery. He has also starred in movies and has developed the Australia Zoo wildlife park, north of Brisbane, which was started by his parents Bob and Lyn Irwin. Tributes have already started pouring in for the larger-than-life character. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who used a photograph of his family at Australia Zoo for his official Christmas card last year, hailed Mr Irwin for his work in promoting Australia. Irwin was heavily involved in last year's "G'Day LA" campaign. "The minister knew him, was fond of him and was very, very appreciative of all the work he'd done to promote Australia overseas," a spokesman said. A Tourism Queensland spokeswoman said the death was shocking and paid tribute to Irwin's "enormous contribution" to his adopted state. "I don't think we could even estimate how much he brought us through his personality and his profile and his enthusiasm about Queensland," she said.