A 12-year old boy managed to survive after being pulled underwater by a riptide for at least 25 minutes on Friday.
Dale Ostrander was swimming in the Pacific Ocean while visiting Cranberry Road beach in Washington State with his church group when he got trapped in a riptide and disappeared into the surf.
Rescue swimmers were quickly dispatched to locate and recover the boy, but as time passed, onlookers -- including Dale's parents -- began to lose hope.
When his limp body was pulled from the ocean, church group members dropped to their knees and prayed, fearing the worst.
"They really didn't know what else to do," assistant pastor Tim Minge told The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "And so that was their first response to the problem was to pray."
Damian Mulinix, a staff photographer for the Chinook Observer, a Washington weekly, heard the rescue call over the scanner and rushed to document the scene.
Mulinix told the Seattle Times that the boy did not have any vital signs when he was pulled out of the water.
"Literally, he was dead for 20 minutes, half an hour probably," said Mulinix.
But after a rescuer administered CPR, Dale regained a faint heartbeat. He was then flown to an Oregon hospital and put into a medically-induced coma.
Throughout the weekend, his family feared he would be brain dead.
"They never expected him to live," Dale's father, Chad Ostrander, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "They expected him to be a vegetable -- never walk, never talk, never say a word."
But on Sunday night, the boy opened his eyes and blinked when the doctors called his name, and on Monday he shocked everyone by speaking.
We were trying to get him to cough, to get the congestion (cleared). (I told him,) 'You need to cough,'" his mother, Kristen Ostrander, told the Seatlle Post-Intelligencer. "And he coughed once. (And we said) 'OK, you need to do it again.' 'I don't need to' is what he said."
"That was when we knew, hey, maybe there is a miracle that's happening here," Chad said. "We understand hopelessness, but we also understand faith. God can work miracles."
Although Dale has a long recovery ahead, his parents are grateful for what they believe is a miracle.
"He's lucky to be here," Chad said. "And we're fortunate for that."