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7-Year-old Florida Boy Swims for an Hour to Help Save Dad, Sister Stranded in River

Image used for representational purpose only. (Credit: REUTERS)

Image used for representational purpose only. (Credit: REUTERS)

Steven Poust along with his two children,Abigail, 4, and Chase, 7 -- anchored his boat on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville for fishing. He let go of his kids to swim near the boat, but a strong current separated the family.

A Florida family is alive today because their 7-year-old son was able to reach the shore in time and call for help. The incident took place when Stevan Poust along with his two children — Abigail, 4, and Chase, 7 -anchored his boat in the St. Johns River in Jacksonville for fishing. He let go of his kids to swim near the boat, but a strong current separated the family. In an interview with WJXT, Poust and Chase shared the whole incident. The father explained how Abigail usually hangs out at the back of the boat. However, a sudden and strong current broke her hold on the boat. To save his sister, Chase also left the boat to prevent her from drifting. But soon, both brother and sister got stuck, which made Poust jumped in to rescue them.

As Chase did not have a life jacket on, Poust directed his son to move to the shore. Poust disclosed that as Chase was heading to the shore, he told his son that he loved him. “I was not sure what was going to happen,” he added.

Further, the duo explained that Abigail, who was wearing a life jacket, was still stuck and was continuously drifting. Poust tried to hold onto his daughter, but the current was so strong that he could not hold onto her for long.

The 7-year-old covered the distance only in an hour. Poust said that his son used various swimming techniques so that he does not get tired. Chase floated on his back and doggie paddled to reach the shore. When asked about how he was able to do it, Chase said, “I don’t know.” He further explained that the current was opposite to the way going to the shore, and it was extremely difficult for him to swim.

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Chase reached the shore on time and called for help. According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Poust and Abigail had drifted about two miles away from the boat’s location.

In a press conference, spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer revealed that though JFRD reached the boat, they had to call in support from other agencies -including Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation -to expand the search. The officer informed that all three were successfully recovered and are doing well.

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