Boy, 7, Swims a Mile to Get Help In Order to Save Dad, Sister in River
Only children ages 6 and under must wear a floatation device for a vessel 26-feet long or shorter, People reported.
One 7-year-old boy from Florida is being hailed a hero after he swam a mile to get help in order to save his father and sister, who were stuck in a river over Memorial Day weekend, according to People.
Chase Poust, 7, and his sister, Abigail, 4, were swimming by their father's anchored boat on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, Friday night, when suddenly they were caught in a strong current, leading the young girl, who was wearing a floatation device, to lose her grip on the boat and get carried by the water’s current, People reported.
"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 told WJXT. "I felt really scared.”
Their dad, Steven Proust, then jumped into the water to save his children, according to People. As he did, Steven told Chase to swim to shore while he would go and save his daughter but he told WJXT that he wore himself out.
"I told them both I loved them because I wasn't sure what's going to happen. I tried to stick with her as long as I could," Steven recalled to WJXT. "I wore myself out, and she drifted away from me."
Chase swam on his back and made the one-mile-trek to shore, which took an hour, and ran to the nearest home he could find and started knocking on the door for help. Chase was able to secure authorities to begin searching for his dad and sister, People said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife as well as Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office went looking for Chase’s family and after an hour they were found and brought to safety.
"We're here. By the grace of God, we're here," Steven told WJXT. "Little man … made it to shore and got help, and that's what saved our lives."
Despite his heroic feat, Chase was asked by WJXT how he learned to become such a skilled swimmer, he replied, “I have no idea.”
At a news conference after the rescue, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer said that if they didn’t have the help of other services, the outcome could have been different, CNN reported.
"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," he said. "We couldn't ask for a better outcome."
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