Chase Poust, an adorable 7-year-old boy, is being hailed a hero today after jumping in St. Johns River to help his little sister, Abigail, who fell in. The amazing brother swam to shore to help his dad and sister who were stranded in the river.
“The current was so strong that my sister — she usually hangs out at the back of the boat — and she let go,” Chase Poust explained. “So, I let go of the boat and grabbed her, and then, I was stuck.”
The river in Jacksonville, Florida, is a go-to spot for the family, according to dad Steven Poust. His son and 4-year-old daughter usually hang off the side of his anchored boat while they swim. On Friday, however, the current got too strong for little Abigail, who was forced to let go. Chase Poust came to her rescue, intentionally letting go of the boat to be with her.
Steven Poust then leaped off the boat, coming to their aid. Though Abigail had a life jacket, the father and son did not. Steven told Chase to swim to shore while he kept Abigail from drowning. “I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen,” Poust told CNN. “I tried to stick with both of them. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”
Chase swam for an hour before he got to shore. The amazing little boy explained that he used swimming techniques to prevent himself from wearing out, flipping on his back at times to catch his breath, and using the doggy paddle to regain energy. After he made it to shore, he sprinted to a nearby house and asked for help.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was swiftly called, arriving on the scene. According to their spokesperson, Eric Prosswimmer, both Steven and Abigail had drifted two miles from their boat. The fire department made it to the boat but was forced to call in reinforcements to locate the drifting father-daughter pair.
Prosswimmer explained that it was his colleagues’ quick response that helped give the story a happy ending. “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,” the spokesperson said. “We couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
Though the aid of the fire department and other rescue services were instrumental in their recovery, Steven was first to give the credit to his son, Chase Poust. Steven’s “little man” swam “to shore and got help, and that’s what saved our lives.”
Chase, however, was the first to admit that he was scared. According to his account, “the current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way.” However, when asked how he learned to swim so skillfully, having made the 1-mile swim in an hour, he claimed “I have no idea.”