7-year-old swims for an hour to get help for dad and sister stranded in river

In an incredible turn of events, a young boy named Chase Poust found himself in a life-threatening situation during a family outing on the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Chase, his father, Steven, and four-year-old sister, Abigail, were on a boat trip to the St. Johns River near Mandarin Point in Jacksonville, Florida. Their plan was for Steven to do some fishing while the children swam nearby.

Unfortunately, the current in the river turned out to be much stronger than expected. Young Abigail, who was wearing a life jacket, was quickly swept away from the boat. Seven-year-old Chase, without a life jacket, didn’t hesitate and let go of the boat to try to save his sister. Steven, their father, also leaped into the water to rescue his daughter, but she continued to drift away.

Chase later described the harrowing experience in an exclusive interview, explaining that he let go of the boat to grab his sister but found himself in a perilous situation: “The current was so strong that my sister — she usually hangs out at the back of the boat — and she let go. So, I let go of the boat and grabbed her, and then, I was stuck.”

Chase, though frightened, displayed incredible bravery and resilience. He swam against the strong current without a life jacket, reaching the shore after an hour of doggie paddling and floating on his back to conserve energy.

Once on dry land, he ran to seek help. Steven also tried to stay with both children in the water but ultimately became too exhausted to continue.

After Chase raised the alarm, their rescue was swift. Authorities, including the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, were able to locate and rescue Steven and Abigail, who had drifted approximately a mile away from their boat.

At a news conference, a spokesperson from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department expressed their relief at the positive outcome: “We had every resource we could have possibly had coming quickly and we’re happy to say all three have been recovered, and all three are doing well. We couldn’t ask for a better outcome.” Chase’s bravery and determination played a vital role in saving his family, and his actions were truly remarkable.