Just watched a segment with the director and producer of his shows who was on location with him when this happened. Apparently he wasn't taking one of those wild chances as has been lobbied about when this happened. He was filming about the Great Barrier Reef's 'deadliest' and they ran into inclement weather and could not film for that, so instead Irwin went underwater to take some footage for a show aimed at children which his daughter Bindi was involved with. He was below to get footage of things like coral and reef fish--totally harmless and was not interacting with them. Supposedly he came up on this stingray while swimming and it put it's barb into him(sounds as though it was in sand and he was swimming not far above). The ultimate irony of this is he was not even taking his usual chances when he met with what is a freak death at the hands of a normally placid animal. After all the situations he's been in and he truly is taken out in an accidental situation. Just damn.
RIP Steve Irwin. You were favored in this house too.