Southern Pines editor describes media frenzy that followed shark attack
Posted June 18, 2015
Southern Pines, N.C. — Steve Bouser, opinion editor for The Pilot, was on the beach Sunday afternoon when an Asheboro girl emerged from the water "bleeding alarmingly" from an attack by a shark. Within hours, his words and photos were blasted around the world in the coverage of the story.
In a column posted to The Pilot Wednesday, Bouser told the story in his own words.
It all began at 4:12 p.m. Sunday, the first full day of our beach vacation. Daughter Kate and her friend Amy were back at the rental house. Brenda and I were relaxing on beach chairs to the soothing rhythm of the waves.
Then, suddenly, it all turned into what Brenda later described as a scene straight out of “Jaws.”
“Get out of the water! Get out of the water!” somebody was shouting. “Call 911!”
We jumped up and saw someone helping a dazed and distressed girl out of the surf. She was bleeding alarmingly and was clearly in danger of going into shock. We didn’t need to hear the next shouted word — “shark!” — to know what had happened.
As I rushed over to where the 12-year-old was lying, the wound I saw was the stuff of nightmares; her left thigh had largely been scooped away with one powerful bite. Because of towels, I never saw her other terrible injury, which later necessitated the amputation of her left arm at the elbow.
Most of us swarming around in an effort to help were just getting in the way — until one bikini-clad woman, who turned out to be a paramedic, took charge. Soon she was barking out orders for emergency steps like the fashioning of makeshift tourniquets. I’m pretty sure the girl, Kiersten Yow, of Asheboro, owes her life to this guardian angel, whose name is Marie Hildreth.