Sounds like we’ve got a real-life superhero in the making on our hands!
Over Memorial Day weekend, a family in Florida (of course) was trying to enjoy the holiday on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville when disaster nearly struck — if not for an AMAZING act of physical prowess by a 7-year-old boy. Chase Poust was swimming alongside his dad’s boat, which was anchored for fishing. His 4-year-old sister Abigail was also swimming with a flotation device, but when a strong current overtook them, Abigail let go of the boat.
Speaking with local news outlet WJXT, Chase shared:
“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 I grabbed her, and then I was stuck.”
As Abigail floated away on the current, their father, Steven Proust, jumped in the water after her. He told the news station:
“I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen. I tried to stick with her as long as I could — both of them, really. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”
Meanwhile, though he “felt really scared,” Chase also let go of the boat — and began swimming for shore. He described that “he would doggie paddle, then float on his back to make sure he wouldn’t tire himself out,” per WJXT. The young boy explained:
“The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way.”
That would clearly be difficult for a fully grown adult, let alone a 7-year-old! And yet, after swimming for what he estimated was an hour, Chase made it to the riverbank. Once on shore, he ran to the nearest house and knocked on the door, asking for help.
After that, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped rescue this family. An hour later, dad and sister were found, the current having swept them more than a mile away from the boat. Of the rescue, Steven said:
“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.”
“We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here.”
Asked how he became so “good at being in the water” — not to mention good at staying cool under SERIOUS pressure — Chase responded truthfully:
“I have no idea.”
Holy s**t! This kid is pretty incredible! We’re so so glad his family is safe, and totally in awe of Chase. That’s a lot of strength and bravery for a 7-year-old! Not to mention, smarts!
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