12-Year-Old Saves Drowning Boy

Nicole Kissel overcame cold water, cold air and powerful tides to help save a boy from drowning.

Dale Ostrander, 12, of Spanaway, WA, had gone to the beach on a trip to the Long Beach peninsula which had been sponsored by the Bethel Baptist Church of Spanaway. The boy was on the beach with about 30 other kids, including his sisters, and began wading in the surf in long sleeves and long pants and was swept out into the water.

Kissel was with her father, but on her boogie board in the water, when she heard a boy yelling for help, and went to help him while her father rescued a second member of the church group who also needed assistance.

Nicole paddled out to the boy's side and discovered he didn't know how to swim. She told him to hang on and for about 20 minutes, the two used the boogie board to stay afloat as they tried to paddle ashore. After a big wave hit them, they were separated. A rescue team arrived and pulled Dale's limp body from the water. He was recussitated and survived the ordeal.

A big wave eventually separated Nicole from the boy,. But her quick response is credited with helping save Dale, who finally was pulled from the surf by rescue swimmers after being submerged for what appeared to be 15 to 20 minutes. Emergency crews performed CPR for 10 minutes before taking Dale to the hospital, where he stayed in a coma for two days, but began breathing on his own two days later and spoke some words.

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