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It's unclear how long Dale was underwater. A rescuer said he was pulled from the water 15 minutes after crews were dispatched. Early in his ordeal he managed to get on the boogie board of a girl who paddled over to him, but he disappeared after a wave knocked him off.
Swift treatment helped. Morocco credited the rescuers for continuing resuscitation efforts even though Ostrander had no pulse and appeared dead.
"This is a perfect golden hour case," he said, referring to a brief window in medicine in which lives can be saved with prompt treatment.
In 1975, an 18-year-old was underwater for 38 minutes after driving off the road and into an ice-covered pond in Michigan. Paramedics initially thought he was dead, but the man eventually woke up 13 hours later in a hospital. Morocco said medical literature cites at least one case in which a person survived after being submerged for up to an hour.
"Whether or not it was a miracle depends on the details," said Dr. Paul Auerbach, who teaches emergency medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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