Fishing with your family seems like a perfect way to spend an afternoon, except when things go terribly wrong. In May 2021, Steven Poust and his children Chase, age 7, and Abigail, age 4, were fishing at St. Johns River near Jacksonville, Florida when tragedy struck. The boat was anchored while Steven fished and the children played in the water when suddenly Abigail let go of the boat and was swept away by the current.
Thinking fast on his feet, Chase grabbed his sister’s arm but was pulled away by the current as well. After seeing all of this unfold, Steven quickly jumped into the river to save his children but was also struggling to keep his head above water while he held onto Abigail for as long as he could. This is when heroic Chase began to swim against the current to try and reach the shore.
The young boy swam for an hour straight and did not stop until he was safely on land once more. He wasted no time and ran to the nearest home he could find and asked for help. The residents quickly contacted the police and fire department. By the time the firefighters arrived on the scene, Steven and his daughter had drifted over a mile from their boat.
Fortunately, the rescue team was able to get Steven and Abigail out of the water before anyone suffered any serious injuries. Chase showed incredible strength and bravery in such a terrifying situation and is ultimately responsible for saving his father and sister from drowning.
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The Poust family was very lucky that no one was hurt, although they were definitely scared throughout the ordeal. Steven and his children had the chance to speak with News 4 Jax about the situation. “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 explained.
Steven has military training and did his best to remain calm during the life-threatening situation. “I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen,” he said. “I tried to stick with both of them. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.” That moment is likely to stay in the father’s mind for a long time.
Chase accomplished something incredible for a young boy and swam for an hour straight to save his family. “The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way,” the boy said. He also told the news team that he dog-paddled his way through the current, only stopping to float on his back when he was exhausted.
Steven recalled the moment he saw the rescue team arrive, “I screamed for help at the top of my lungs and waved my arms and sure enough someone heard us. Little man also made it to shore and got help and that’s what saved our lives.”
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department gave a statement after the rescue mission:
“We had every resource we could have possibly had coming quickly and we’re happy to say all three have been recovered, and all three are doing well. We couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
What do you think of Chase’s heroic actions?
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