Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville 7-Year-Old Boy Swims For 1 Hour to Rescue Dad and Little Sister

Synthia Stark

Photo of Chase Poust from News4JAX YouTube

In Jacksonville, Florida, there’s a 7-year-old boy named Chase Poust. Chase was in a situation where he had to save his father and his little sister.

When it comes to serious situations, it is said that some of us develop a little extra strength and adrenaline to help others in need.

During the Memorial Day weekend, this mighty hero was able to use his amazing strength and durability to help out his family.

Chase is only 7-years old. His dad is named Steven, while his sister, who is 4-years-old, is name Abigail. The family was out on a boating excursion along Florida’s St. Johns River near Mandarin Point. 

See the following map of the area below:

Chase and Abigail were swimming at the stern of the anchored boat while Steven was fishing on the deck.

It quite a beautiful and picturesque scene, as one can imagine. However, a strong current loosened Abigail’s grip and she ended up letting go of the boat. Realizing that his sister was going to be swept away, Chase quickly let go of the boat himself.

He sprang into action to try to reach her. 

Meanwhile, Steven had just leaped into the water himself. Steven realized that he couldn’t keep up with the kids, and was extremely exhausted. Steven was also unsure of what to do. He also had to make a quick decision — and make sure everyone remained safe.

Steven had recalled: 

“I told them I loved them because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen. I tried to stick with both of them. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”

Steven had directed Chase to swim to shore for help. Meanwhile, Steven stayed behind in the water, trying to keep a close eye on Abigail. Abigail was wearing a life-vest, but she was pushed further and further from his reach.

Essentially, Abigail was being carried away from the strong current. As one can imagine, Steven was quite worried.

While tired himself, Chase made a quick decision too. He realized that quickly swimming all the way to the shore was risky, so Chase paced himself across periodic intervals. To summarize, the youngster had to outswim a current that had separated him from his father and sister. 

Chase would swim fast, and then occasionally stop to dog paddle and float, especially as he grew more and more tired, but continued moving onward.

Chase had reportedly said:

“I felt really scared.”

Chase had also said: 

“The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way.”

In the end, it took Chase 1 full hour to reach the shore. Once on the ground, he was out of the water and running. Chase then headed to the first house he could find. 

He had knocked and called for help. The people complied.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were sent to search for Steven and Abigail.

Miraculously, an hour after the search, Abigail and Steven were found, all in one piece. They were found well over a mile away from the family’s abandoned boat. The authorities even posted about it on social media:

Steven reported: 

“I screamed for help at the top of my lungs and waved my arms and sure enough someone heard us. Little man [Chase] also made it to shore and got help and that’s what saved our lives.”

Let’s repeat that: they were well over a mile away. 

Chase was somehow able to swim against the strong current (when they were only just a mile away) and managed to get them help on time too.

At the end of it, Steven was really proud of his son and was super grateful at the tremendous effort Chase had to pull to save everyone. This Memorial Day is one that the Poust family will never forget.

As for the local laws, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department reported that the 7-year-old and the father were not required to wear a life vest, as the law applies to only those who are under 6-years-old and if the vessel being used is under 26 feet.

As for the people of Jacksonville, Florida, just make sure to keep safe, have information of the authorities on standby, and wear your lifejackets.

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Writer & Researcher | Therapist-in-Training | Crisis Responder | Writing wholesome stories for the masses.

New York City, NY

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