Chase Poust, 7, swam for over an hour to help save his family, who was stranded after they got swept up in a wave after a fishing trip went wrong.
He was boating with his father Steven and his four-year-old sister Abigail on the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida. The kids swam about the boat while their father fished.
Then Abigail, who was wearing a life jacket, got caught in the current of the river.
“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 Poust told News 4 Jax.
Stephen Poust instructed his son to swim and to find immediate help.
“I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen,” the father said. “I tried to stick with her as long as I could—with both of them. I wore myself out, and she drifted away from me.”
So, Poust swam to the closest house to go for rescue—just like his dad told him to—and it took him over an hour.
He said that he floated on his back for part of the way there, to conserve his energy.
Florida Fish and Wildlife crews were able to find the man and his daughter quickly, thanks to the prompt response of the neighbor Poust found to call 911.
They had been swept at least a mile away before they were rescued.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer said they “couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
All three family members have recovered from the rescue.