A little boy in Florida is being praised for helping save his family members following a recent boating accident.
Seven-year-old Chase Poust saved himself and his loved ones on Friday when he, his four-year-old sister, and their father were on a boat fishing on the St. Johns River, according to WBTV.
The boy and his sister, Abigail, swam past the boat while it was anchored and 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 from the vessel to save his children. Abigail was wearing a life jacket and floated with the current when her father attempted to grab her and instructed 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,” Poust noted.
Chase continued swimming to shore and said he doggie paddled and also floated on his back to try and conserve his strength, according to News4Jax.
“The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way,” he explained.
Following an hour-long swim, Chase made it to his destination and went to a nearby home for help.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued his dad and sister after searching for an hour. In addition, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also aided in the mission.
According to authorities, the two had drifted over a mile from the 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 vessel under 26 feet.