Human Interest Boy, 7, Swims a Mile to Save Dad and Sister Stuck in River: 'By the Grace of God, We're Here' "Little man ... made it to shore and got help, and that's what saved our lives," Steven Proust told WJXT of his son, Chase By Jason Duaine Hahn Jason Duaine Hahn Jason Hahn is a Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter since 2017 and has interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 31, 2021 03:55 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A 7-year-old boy saved his father and younger sister by swimming a mile to get help after a boating accident over Memorial Day weekend. Chase Poust and his 4-year-old sister, Abigail, were swimming alongside their father's anchored boat on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night, the family told WJXT. But as the two children enjoyed their time in the water, Abigail lost hold of the boat when they were caught in a strong current. "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 grabbed her, and then, I was stuck," Chase told the news station. "I felt really scared," he added. Steven Proust, their father, jumped into the water to save them and told Chase to swim to shore as he tried to retrieve Abigail, who was being carried along with the current while wearing a floatation device. 8-Year-Old Boy Saves His Little Sister's Life After She Nearly Drowns in Their Backyard Pool "I told them both I loved them because I wasn't sure what's going to happen. I tried to stick with her as long as I could," Steven recalled to WJXT. "I wore myself out, and she drifted away from me." Chase then began the long, 1-mile swim back to land, switching between floating on his back and doggie paddling. The journey, he told the outlet, lasted an hour. 'Remarkable' 12-Year-Old Boy Saves Friend's Life After He Begins Choking at School: 'A Hero' Once he reached shore, Chase said he ran to the nearest home he could find and knocked on their door. Florida Fish and Wildlife — who were helped by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office — eventually spotted Steven and Abigail after an hour-long search. RELATED VIDEO: Doctor Saves Man's Life By Sucking Urine Out Of Blocked Bladder On Flight WJXT said Chase and Steven were not required to wear a life vest. Only children ages 6 and under must wear one for a vessel 26 feet long or shorter. Steven knows how fortunate they are to have made it out of the situation. "We're here. By the grace of God, we're here," he said. "Little man … made it to shore and got help, and that's what saved our lives." When asked how he became such a skilled swimmer, Chase was honest: "I have no idea."