A 7-year-old boy from Florida is being hailed as a hero after he helped save his father and 4-year-old sister by swimming to shore and calling for help after they got caught in a strong current during a holiday weekend boating trip.
The father, Steven Poust, revealed how he anchored his boat in the river while he fished and his children played last Friday in St. Johns River.
Chase Poust said the current was too strong for his sister Abigail to hold onto the boat — and so he did the sweetest big brother act and let go so he could stay with her. Abigail was the only one wearing a life jacket.
“I felt really scared,” Chase told the station.
Their father immediately jumped in the water to grab her while Chase began swimming toward shore.
“I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen,” their father recalled. “I tried to stick with both of them. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”
Chase kept swimming, doggie paddling, and floating on his back to conserve his energy.
“The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way,” Chase said. It took the boy an hour to reach land. Once he did — he ran to the nearest house for help.
Crews from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered the father and daughter about a mile from their boat.
“I screamed for help at the top of my lungs and waved my arms and sure enough someone heard us,” Poust said. “Little man also made it to shore and got help and that’s what saved our lives.”
Eric Prosswimmer, a fire department employee, noted how neither the 7-year-old nor the father were required to wear a life vest. The law applies to children age 6 and under for a vessel under 26 feet long.
Talk about a superhero! We think it is so amazing that even someone so small can make such a massive difference — what an amazing reminder for us today.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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