March is Red Cross Month. During this time of celebration, SW Washington Red Cross along with corporate sponsor Fred Meyer, is honoring Real Heros in our region. Today, we salute the recipients of the Water Rescue Heros award which is sponsored by Waste Connections.
Water-rescue-trained volunteers Doug Knutzen and Eddie Mendez were notified through a 911 dispatch that a 12-year-old boy was under the surf in Long Beach, Pacific County, WA.
Nicole Kissel, also 12, had tried to help Dale Ostrander after he was swept off his board. She’d quickly paddled toward him; then, held on to him while he climbed back on his board.
Paddling ferociously toward shore, another wave knocked the pair off their boards, this time pulling Dale underwater and out of Nicole’s reach.
Nicole was able to get back to shore safely. Doug and Eddie arrived with their gear and a water craft to swiftly get into the surf where they saw Dale’s lifeless body two feet below the surface.
By then, the riptide had kept Dale underwater for at least 15 minutes.
Eddie dove into the water to retrieve Dale; then, Doug pulled Dale onto the water craft and jetted to shore. Doug carried Dale’s lifeless body to a paramedic who was standing by to administer CPR and First Aid.
Many other trained responders continued to keep Dale alive as he was Life Flighted to the hospital.