Plucked from the sea: Moment boy, 12, is carried to shore after spending 20 minutes under water
Most uplifting! Here in Washington State, a boy has survived, and his story is being called a miracle.
A 12-year-old boy has survived after spending as long as 20 minutes immersed in the Pacific Ocean surf. Charles ‘Dale’ Ostrander was visiting the southwest Washington coast with members of his church youth group last Friday when he was caught in a riptide north of Long Beach.
Doug Knutzen is part of the volunteer surf rescue team that spotted the boy in the water. When Knutzen carried Dale from the surf and handed him to medics, the veteran rescuer feared the worst.
Recording the scene was Damian Mulinix, a photographer from the Chinook Observer newspaper who had responded to the beach rescue. He says the other children from the church group sobbed and prayed as Dale was carried to shore. ‘They were crying, face-down on the ground, praying — it was a heart-wrenching scene,’ Mulinix said.
Medics began working on Dale immediately and his pulse had returned by the time he was taken to a nearby hospital. He was flown from the southwest Washington coast to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
On Sunday night, he opened his eyes as he was eased off sedatives. On Monday he said a handful of words to his parents, Chad and Kirsten Ostrander. As they encouraged him to cough to clear his throat, he replied, ‘I don’t have to.’
Doctors have cautioned his parents that even if Dale survives, he could have permanent brain damage.
“The doctors, they’re the ones that said ‘This is a miracle that this is happening,'” says pastor Tim Minge. Minge is the associate pastor at the church 12-year-old Dale Ostrander was traveling with. “He was not expected to be able to talk. They basically were trying to prepare the family for the worst, you know, he could be brain dead, he could just die.”
“When all these things began to happen, the doctors were just as amazed as we were,” says Minge. “We know there’s been a lot of people across the country praying for Dale, and praying for his family, so yeah, we do think God did something for this boy and his family.”
Visit Prayers for Dale for more information on his recovery and information on how you can make a donation or send a card.