OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WBTV) – The man who shared pictures of paramedics and volunteers helping a young girl attacked by a shark spoke with WBTV about what unfolded in front of his eyes.
After multiple shark attacks off popular North Carolina beaches, an increased presences from law enforcement is expected to taper off.
“I think the increased presence will slowly taper off after today, but however, during the summer months we always have two boats out every day,” said Brunswick County Chief Deputy Sheriff Charles Miller.
Steve Bouser’s pictures of the terrifying event have been shared all over the country.
“All of a sudden all hell broke loose and people were yelling ‘get out of the water,'” said Bouser.
Bouser is the man behind the lens. He works for The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines, North Carolina. He said the chaotic scene is hard to forget.
“The poor girl you know was in shock obviously, lost so much blood, and there were a lot of people that were hovering around her talking to her, asking her questions – count to ten and so on,” Bouser said.
Our news partner, The Charlotte Observer, reports a Charlotte paramedic led the charge to help the 12-year-old girl.
Without her help, Bouser said he doesn’t know what might have happened.
“There was something that was kind of inspiring about how quickly everybody rallied, he said.
The stories and images have had most vacationers staying far away from the deep water. Bouser never expected this type of response, and says he’s praying for the girl in his pictures.
“You know I tried to help, get involved in the help initially, but suddenly realized that I was in the way and that’s when the news man took over and I grabbed the iPhone and started taking some pictures,” he said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the young girl’s family released a statement thanking the first responders for saving their daughter’s life, and giving an update on her condition.
“Our daughter, Kiersten Yow, was the female victim of Sunday’s shark attacks on Oak Island. As the media is reporting, she lost a portion of her left arm (below the elbow) and suffered injuries to her left leg,” the statement read.
“Kiersten was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington immediately after the incident and was transferred to N.C. Children’s Hospital at UNC yesterday, where she remains in stable condition and is receiving excellent care. She has a long road to recovery that will include surgeries and rehabilitation, but her doctors at UNC expect she will keep her leg, and for that we are grateful.”
The statement continued, “We want to thank the good Samaritans and emergency responders whose clear heads and quick actions saved Kiersten’s life. We also thank her extraordinary doctors and nurses in Wilmington and Chapel Hill.”
“This has been an extraordinarily traumatic event for our entire family. We need time and space to come to terms with what has happened and to help Kiersten recover.”
“We appreciate the public’s well wishes and prayers, but we ask that the media please respect our privacy as we navigate this difficult situation—privately, as a family.”
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