Archive for 08/14/2011

Joyce Chen –

A little boy has made a mind-boggling recovery after being sucked into the frigid Pacific Ocean – and enduring more than 15 minutes underwater.

After spending the weekend in the ICU of OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portalnd, Ore., Charles “Dale” Ostrander’s parents were thrilled to see their little angel’s miraculous recovery.

The little boy’s brush with death began last Friday on an outing with his church youth group, when a powerful riptide pulled him underwater and sucked him out to sea.

When he was found by rescuers, he was floating without a pulse, two feet below the surface of the water, after 15 minutes deprived of oxygen.

“I expected to say our goodbyes and so did my wife, and we were just prepared for that,” dad Chad Ostrander told the AP. “He really surprised us.”

Damian Mulinix, a staff photographer for the weekly Chinook Observer, dashed to the beach to chronicle the amazing rescue efforts, and spoke about the devastating scene.

“Literally, he was dead for 20 minutes, half an hour probably,” Mulinix said of the recovery.

The other children from the youth group kneeled down to pray as a lifeless Dale was carried to shore.

“They were crying, face-down on the ground, praying – it was a heart-wrenching scene,” the photographer said.

A nearby 12-year-old, Nicole Kissel, who was in the water, immediately reacted to the unfolding tragedy and tried to keep him afloat on her boogie board.

“I let him on the board first, and I got on top of him, grabbed the board and he said ‘Keep kicking, keep kicking,'” she said in an interview.

Full story…

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Robin McKie –

You have the private plane, the luxury yacht and the helicopter. Only one high-tech goody is missing from the list of billionaire playthings – a deep-water submarine.

 But thanks to a revolution in ultra-strong materials and advanced guidance systems, such a super-submersible is being built, and sold, by marine companies.

 Soon the abyss, and the strange denizens that inhabit its stygian depths, will be filled with packs of tiny submarines piloted by hedge-fund managers and venture capitalists.

 Among those who have shown keen interest, either in funding or buying super-submersibles, are film director James Cameron, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and entrepreneur Richard Branson.

“Ninety per cent of the seabed has still to be explored,” said Patrick Lahey, president of Triton Submarines of Vero Beach, Florida. “There is a host of wonders down there. You could visit the mid-Atlantic thermal vents, where volcanic heated gases bubble up from Earth’s core, or cruise down to the wrecks of the Titanic or the Bismarck. You will be able to access any place in the ocean and watch all those wonderful sea creatures.”

Craft that can take two or three passengers on dives of 300m are already being built and sold by firms such as Triton or Deep Flight, which is based in California and set up by UK marine engineer Graham Hawkes.

 Its craft have appeared in James Bond films and have also been sold to Branson and venture capitalist Tom Perkins.

 The depths achieved by these submarines are still relatively modest.

Full story…