Seven-year-old Chase Poust saved himself and his family on Friday when he, his four-year-old sister, and their father were on a boat fishing on a river in Florida. Chase told reporters he and his sister swam past their anchored boat, but the current was too strong.
Chase explained, “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.”
Their dad, Steven Poust, said he jumped in for them. Abigail was wearing a life jacket and floated with the current. He told Chase to swim toward 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… I wore myself out, and she drifted away from me,”Steven said. Chase said he doggie paddled and floated on his back to try and conserve his strength. It took him an hour, but he made it to shore and ran to a nearby house for help.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued his dad and sister after searching for an hour. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also helped. They had drifted a mile away from their boat.
“We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here,” Poust stated, adding, “Little man… made it to shore and got help, and that’s what saved our lives.” Officials said Chase nor his dad were required to wear life vests because the law applies to kids aged six and under for a boat the size of theirs.