A close friend and colleague of Steve Irwin’s has opened up about the fateful trip that claimed the Crocodile Hunter’s life, revealing he “tried to stop” the production from going ahead.

John Stainton, producer for The Crocodile Hunter TV Show and 15 year friend of Steve Irwin, spoke to‘s daily news podcast and admitted he”felt uncomfortable” about the underwater documentary project, and had a feeling he was going to die on the trip.

John tried to have the Ocean’s Deadliest show canned before they all travelled to Australia’s northeast coast for filming, and when he was unsuccessful, prepared a will.

While John’s fears were for his own life, it was Steve that was killed after the barb of a stingray pierced his chest on Batt Reef near Port Douglas.

John told the podcast that he was so concerned about the lead up to the shoot, that he asked Discovery Channel to call it off, but they refused when everyone had already been paid.

“I felt uncomfortable about it when we were sort of going into the production. In fact, three weeks before we were lined up to shoot I actually rang Discovery and said ‘Look at I don’t feel good about this thing’,” he told I’ve Got News For You podcast host Andrew Bucklow, explaining that he was told it was too late to cancel.

“I just had this premonition in January that would be the last day of my life this year. I just had this really weird feeling … So much so that I went and got tests and CAT scans. I thought ‘I have to have something wrong with me’ (but) nothing came back.”

“I even made a will that year in June before we went on the trip,” he added.

Adding to John’s unsettling feeling about the trip, he said Steve gave a speech to everyone involved in the documentary that had him feeling even more uneasy.

“A couple of days before we started the show, he made a little speech to all the crew that were up there catching crocs for his research trip which I joined at the end with our crew to do the deadliest movie. And it was really weird,” he said.

“He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him … It was like a ‘finale’ speech… Very weird.”

“I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong, but it’s just life, you never know what things are going to do to you,” he added.

After Steve was tragically killed at age 44 by the stingray, John said it was him that called Steve’s wife Terri to deliver the devastating news.

“I can remember that night, I couldn’t sleep,” John said of making the calls.

“I think when you’re, as anyone that will know when they’re in a state of grief grieving and sadness and shock, that you have to do what you have to do,” he said.

Image credit: Getty Images

This article first appeared on Over60.