Seven-year-old boy swims for an hour to get help after river sweeps away family

Seven-year-old boy swims for an hour to get help after river sweeps away family

A brave seven-year-old boy, Chase Poust, has been dubbed a hero after swimming for an hour to get help for his father and sister who had been swept away in a river.

Poust saved his dad, Steven, and little sister, Abigail, from possibly drowning by out-swimming a strong current that separated him from them before alerting authorities in Florida so they could be rescued.

It took Chase an hour to swim back to shore to get help, and by the time a team of firefighters reached Steven and Abigail, they had been swept more than a mile downstream.

The family got into difficulty in the St John's River in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday, reports News4Jax.

Steven told the news outlet that he anchored his boat in the water while he fished and his kids enjoyed a swim.

Chase said while they were in the water, his sister, Abigail, aged four, let go of the boat because of a strong current.

Chase recalled how he 'felt really scared' as he didn't have a life jacket on while his sister, who did have a life jacket, began floating downstream with the current.

That was when Steven jumped in the water to try to save Abigail but ended up getting into difficulty himself.

Meanwhile, Chase somehow managed to beat the current and began swimming to shore to get help.

Speaking to News4Jax, Steven said:

"I told them I loved him 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."

Chase said he swam in the doggy paddle technique and every so often floated on his back to make sure he didn't tire himself out.

"The current was going the opposite way to the shore so it was very hard to swim that way," Chase added.

He made it to the shore after an hour of hard swimming and knocked on the door of the nearest house to get help.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped rescue this family.

Steven added:

"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."