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August 10, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Spanaway boy brought back to life

Posted by Kevin Fujii

DAMIAN MULINIX / CHINOOK OBSERVER

Surf rescuer swimmer Doug Knutzen carries Dale Ostrander, of Spanaway, Wash., out of the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, Wash., on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. Rescue swimmers Eddie Mendez, at left, and Will Green, not pictured, pulled Ostrander out of the surf. Ostrander disappeared after a rip tide pulled him out to sea.

Damian Mulinix heard the rescue call over the scanner, and rushed to the Long Beach peninsula. A staff photographer for the weekly Chinook Observer, Mulinix chronicled rescuers as they searched Friday for the body of a 12-year-old boy who disappeared into the surf.

Dale Ostrander was visiting with a Spanaway church group, and got trapped in the rip tide for more than 20 minutes. Youth from the church group knelt and prayed in the sand. Rescuers finally found Ostrander and brought the boy ashore, as Mulinix captured in the above photo. But Ostrander didn't have any vital signs.

"Literally, he was dead for 20 minutes, half an hour probably," said Mulinix. Aid workers performed CPR for 10 minutes before taking Ostrander to the hospital. He was later taken to Doernbecher Children's Hospital at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where he was kept in a coma for several days. On Monday, Ostrander began breathing on his own and even spoke some sentences.

"This is easily the most incredible story I've ever been part of," Mulinix said. "This is downright miraculous."

You can read more about this amazing rescue and recovery on Damian Malinix blog.

DAMIAN MULINIX / CHINOOK OBSERVER

Rescue swimmers Will Green, from left, and Eddie Mendez pull Dale Ostrander, of Spanaway, Wash., out of the water as rescue swimmer Doug Knutzen assists at the Cranberry Road beach approach in Long Beach, Wash., on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.

DAMIAN MULINIX / CHINOOK OBSERVER

Spanaway church members pray for Dale Ostrander at Cranberry Road beach approach in Long Beach, Wash., on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.

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