But now he is making a remarkable recovery and the heroes who saved him are sharing their story.
Less than a month ago, 12 year old Dale Ostrander was pulled from the ocean water off a beach in southwest Washington without a pulse. Not breathing, dead. But instead of his family mourning his loss they are celebrating his recovery. Today he is walking, dressing himself, and learning to talk all over again.
Dale was visiting a beach with a church group when a rip current sucked him out to sea. He was under the water for at least 15 minutes.
"Dale was yelling help, help, someone help me," said Nicole Kissel.
Twelve year old Nicole was on her boogey board fighting the waves when she ignored her own father's pleas to come ashore and went after Dale.
"When I got to him I put him on the board, I grabbed the board and several waves hit us and he told me we could make it," said Nicole.
But a wave knocked him free. Rescue teams hit the powerful surf as Dale went under. He was submerged for at least 15 minutes before they found him and rushed him back to shore.
"He felt limp, he's a small boy I mean there's enough going on that we were fairly certain that we'd had a fatality," said Doug Knutzen.
But they didn't give up.
No one can say for sure if it was the water temps of 56 degrees, the CPR or divine intervention but Dale came back and started breathing again.
Dale has slowly been recovering. He can't talk much yet but he understands everything his doctors and family say to him. His family say his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.