From photojournalist Damian Mulinix. Reposted here with permission:
This is by far the most amazing story I have ever been a part of. I’m still awestruck as I write this, but I am so very happy to be able to tell it.
Last Friday afternoon a large church youth group from Spanaway was visiting the beach off the Cranberry Beach approach in Long Beach, WA.
Shannon Kissel and his daughter Nicole were boogie-boarding nearby when they saw two boys were in need of help. While they were able to retrieve one boy, they were not able to rescue Dale Ostrander, who was caught in a rip tide. It was about 10 minutes until the surf rescue team was on scene.
Twenty-plus kids from the youth group sobbed uncontrollably and prayed on the sand during the search, a truly heart-wrenching sound. It was then at least another 15 minutes or so before rescue swimmer Eduardo Mendez spotted Ostrander, and he and swimmer Will Green were able to grab him and pull him aboard a jet ski.
Seconds later at the shore, Doug Knutzen carried him up to where paramedics were waiting to treat him. They were on the beach for another 10 minutes trying to revive him. I think it’s safe to say that everyone was certain Ostrander was dead. But the crew continued to work on him, and apparently once they got to the hospital they were able to get a weak pulse and get him breathing again.
Ostrander was air-lifted to Portland for treatment. After he was put in an induced coma for a couple days, he woke up.
And today (Aug. 9) they removed his breathing tube. Not only did Ostrander breath on his own, but he spoke complete sentences. Amazing. This boy was dead for upward of 20 minutes, easily.
From the blog prayersfordale.blogspot.com: At 4:11 pm today “The doctors just removed Dale’s breathing tube and he is now breathing on his own. Also, because of possible damage to the brain, they were unsure if he would be able to speak. Minutes after the tube was removed, the doctors told him to cough. Not only did Dale talk back to the doctors, he responded in a full sentence saying, “I don’t have to.”
Dale continues to get better by the minute, and the doctors are more and more amazed!”
Going to these kinds of breaking news situations is often tough, as you never know how they’re going to turn out. I was heartbroken for almost a day after this. And to be able to share this kind of news now is just so heart-warming. Please visit the site listed above and follow as Dale recovers miraculously. Because if ever there was a miracle, this would be it.
The dramatic rescue of a 12-year-old boy, trapped underwater in the Pacific Ocean for 20 minutes after being pulled to sea by a powerful rip current, was captured by a local photographer. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.