PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 10 (UPI) — A 12-year-old Washington boy has amazed doctors by surviving after being immersed in the Pacific Ocean for almost 20 minutes, authorities said.
Charles “Dale” Ostrander’s limp body was recovered from the waters off Long Beach, Wash., 20 minutes after being pulled into the ocean by a riptide Aug. 5, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.
Witnesses said they were sure the boy must be dead.
“I’ve been doing this since 1978,” said Doug Knutzen, a member of the volunteer surf rescue team that spotted the boy in the water. “It’s something you never get used to, but I knew that the boy was gone, absolutely gone.”
Knutzen pulled the boy from the water and medical personnel began CPR, but it was only after they reached Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco, Wash., that Dale’s pulse returned, they said.
“[The doctors] were very clear that he had been under for too long, had been without oxygen with for too long,” Dale’s mother Kirsten Ostrander said.
Transferred to a Portland hospital, the boy opened his eyes and was speaking in complete sentences Monday, doctors said.
Doctors cautioned that Dale is not in the clear yet and may have suffered permanent brain damage.
Still, his family says, the boy has surprised everyone by regaining his heartbeat and breath, speaking in full sentences and wanting to get up and move around.
“Maybe there is a miracle that’s happening here,” Dale’s father Chad Ostrander said.