boy swimming in a river
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 28, 2023 ·  2 min read

A 7-year-old boy in Florida swam for an hour to get help for his dad and sister who were stranded in a river

A seven-year-old boy in Florida is being called a hero after he swam for over an hour to save his father and little sister who were at risk of drowning and stranded in a river. The ending to this story is a happy one, but without the little boy’s brave efforts, it would be very different.

7-Year-Old Boy Saves Family Stranded In A River

At the end of last month, Steven Poust went fishing on a river with his seven-year-old son Chase and 4-year-old daughter Abigail. Ultimately, young Chase is the one who saved the whole family who ended up stranded in the river. (1)

While Steven fished, his two children swam just off the back of the boat. Unexpectedly, the current picked up. It became so strong that Abigail, who was dressed in a life jacket and hanging off the back of the boat, had to let go. Chase let go, too, in order to try and help his sister, but he couldn’t get to her.

“I felt really scared,” Chase said to WJXT News4Jax.

The Father Tried To Save Them

Steven jumped into the water to try and save them, but the current was too strong. He wore himself out trying to get to both of them. He told Chase to swim to shore for help while he went after little Abigail.

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

Chase Saves The Day

Little Chase had to swim against the current to get to shore. He used a combination of doggy paddle and floating on his back to not tire himself out. It took him over an hour of paddling to reach the shore.

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

Once he reached land, he ran to the nearest house to get help. They called the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Between the three groups, they found and safely rescued the father and daughter.

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

One thing is certain: This is a story that the Poust family will be telling for many, many years.

Keep Reading: 20-Year-Old Takes On Raising Her Five Siblings After Both Parents Die From Cancer


  1. “Brave 7-year-old recounts hour-long swim to shore after boating mishap on St. Johns River” WJXT News4Jax. May 29, 2021.
  2. A 7-year-old boy in Florida swam for an hour to get help for his dad and sister who were stranded in a river.” CNN. Lauren M. Johnson. June 1, 2021.