A 7-year-old boy became an instant hero after saving both his younger sister and father from certain death.
Chase Poust, 7, and his 4-year-old sister Abigail were swimming alongside their father, Steven Poust’s, anchored boat on the St. John’s River just over a year ago. The two kids were having a great time swimming while their father was fishing when things took a scary turn.
The current suddenly became strong that it pulled her sister away from the boat.
“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 said in an exclusive interview with news channel WJXT.
Steven jumped into the water quickly to save Abigail, who was being carried away by the current at the time. But first, the quick-thinking father instructed his 7-year-old son to swim all the way to the shore.
“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 said while sharing that terrifying moment. “I wore myself out, and she drifted away from me.”
It’s only a matter of time before something truly terrible happens to one of them. It was a battle of time and perseverance for Chase because he was the only person his father could rely on at the time.
Despite the fact that he was not wearing a life jacket, the young boy gathered all of his strength and focused solely on what his father told him.
Despite admitting that he “felt really scared,” he managed to swim all the way to shore. He alternated between doggie paddling and floating on his back to avoid exhaustion. He made it to the coast thanks to his brave heart and quick thinking.
That’s a one-mile swim that lasted about an hour! And, despite being only 7 years old, Chase appeared to be a kid on a mission that day, don’t you think?
As soon as he set foot on land, he dashed to the nearest house and asked for assistance. When the young boy told them what had happened, the residents dialed 911 and requested a rapid response team to come over.
To save the Pousts, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife, and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office all worked together. Thankfully, after searching for an hour, they eventually located Steven and Abigail, who had become stranded more than a mile from their boat.
Chase and Abigail were both rushed to a nearby hospital for a quick checkup, but thankfully neither they nor their father suffered any injuries.
The JFRD spokesperson, Eric Prosswimmer, praised the quick-thinking team members’ efforts and gave them credit for the successful outcome of the rescue.
“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,” Prosswimmer said. “We couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
Steven, Chase’s father, is incredibly proud of his son for his bravery and heroism. He was the reason they made it through the terrible incident.
“We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here,” he said. “Little man … made it to shore and got help, and that’s what saved our lives.”
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