A seven-year-old Jacksonville child is being called a hero after saving his family during a Memorial Day Weekend boating mishap.

The Poust family informed WJXT that Chase Poust and his 4-year-old sister Abigail were swimming beside their father’s anchored yacht on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night. However, as the two kids were having fun in the water, Abigail lost control of the boat when they were caught in a strong current.

Their father, Steven Proust, leapt into the sea to save them, but the strong current overwhelmed them.

“I told them both I loved them, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. And I tried to stick with her as long as I could and both of them, really. I wore myself out. And she drifted away from me,” he said.

Steven instructed Chase to swim to the beach. That’s when the 7-year-old started the 1-mile swim back to shore, alternating between floating on his back and paddling like a dog.

Chase dashed to the nearest house he could find as he arrived at the beach. After an hour-long search, Florida Fish and Wildlife found Steven and Abigail.

“We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here,” Steven said. “Little man … made it to shore and got help, and that’s what saved our lives.”

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