12 year-old survives after 20 minutes under water from riptide

February 25, 2013

12 year-old Charles Ostrander survived after being stuck under water for nearly 20 minutes.

Charles, who goes by his nickname, Dale, was visiting the Washington coast with friends from his church youth group. A strong riptide swept Dale off his feet and pulled him far from shore.

Nicole, who was swimming neaby, took off after him on her boogie board. After reaching Dale, they tried to paddle back to shore. As hard as they tried to swim to shore, nothing was working.

Local sawmill worker, Shanon Kissel, said the two were clinging to the board while turned sideways from the crashing waves. He began swimming out to the children just as they were both thrown off the board.

Nicole was able to reach the board. Dale was nowhere to be found.

Fire officials and other rescuers arrived. Some stood atop trucks, using binoculars to try to locate Dale. Members of Dale's church group prayed, kneeling in the sand.

Volunteer water rescuer, Eddie Mendez, spotted a shadow in the water and dove in. After surveying the area for a few minutes, he noticed the shadow again. It was Dale's body, laying face down about 2 feet under the water's surface.

Mendez pulled the boy onto his board and took him to shore. Emergency responders tried to revive Dale on the beach with CPR. With no luck, they transferred him to a nearby hospital where Dale's pulse returned.

Read the full story and watch the video here.

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