A 7-year-old boy swam for an hour to get help for his father and sister — who were caught in a strong current in a Florida river.
Chase Poust was swimming with his 4-year-old sister Abigail Friday around their father’s fishing boat, which was anchored in the St. Johns River, according to local station, News4Jax.
Abigail, who was wearing a life jacket, got swept into a strong current when she let go of the boat, and Chase, who was not wearing a life preserver, stayed with her, according to the report.
“I felt really scared,” Chase told the Jacksonville station.
Steven Poust jumped into the water to rescue his children, but all three kept drifting farther from the boat.
“I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen,” Steven said. “I tried to stick with both of them. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”
That’s when the 7-year-old brother kicked the heroics into high gear, swimming toward shore while using the doggy paddle and back float to preserve 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 told the station.
After about an hour, he reached land and ran to the nearest house for help, according to the report.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department found his father and daughter about a mile from the anchored boat.
“I screamed for help at the top of my lungs and waved my arms and sure enough someone heard us,” Steven said. “Little man also made it to shore and got help and that’s what saved our lives.”
The Poust family was following all boating safety rules — only children 6 and under are required to wear life vests in small boats.