All of a sudden, Abigail, who usually hangs out in the back of the boat, had to let go because the current was so strong, Chase said.
The 7-year-old also decided to let go in an attempt to keep him from drifting, but then got stuck.
Poust jumped in to try and help them and told Chase to swim to shore as he tried to reach his daughter, who was wearing a life jacket.
“I told them I loved him because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” Poust said. “I tried to stick with the two. I got exhausted. She pulled away from me.”
It took Chase an hour to reach shore. He told WKXT he was floating on his back and paddling so he wouldn’t burn out. When he reached land, he ran to the nearest house to ask for help.
Meanwhile, her father and sister drifted about a mile and a half to two miles from the boat’s location, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Service (JFRD).
Without the help of his colleagues, the outcome might have been different, said Prosswimmer.
“We had all the resources we could have had to come quickly and we are happy to say that all three have been recovered and all three are doing well,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for a better result.”
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