‘It was unbelievable’: Father, 2 children rescued after being separated from boat by strong currents in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A father and two children were rescued after they were separated from their boat by strong currents in the St. Johns River, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said.

Channel 9′s sister station, Action News Jax, reported that crews received reports about a missing father and two children, a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, on Saturday.

READ: 10-year-old Florida boy shot after shooting paintballs at house

Rescue crews said the children jumped in the water for a swim when currents swept them away from the boat.

The children’s father then jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue them.

The 7-year-old successfully swam about 500 yards to shore to get help after being in the water for over an hour.

READ: Search underway for missing 21-year-old swimmer in Winter Park

The boy’s father and the 4-year-old were swept farther away by strong currents. The 4-year-old was the only one wearing a life jacket, Action News Jax reported.

Crews were able to rescue the 4-year-old and her father. Officials said the father was found near the Buckman Bridge.

All three are safe and well.

“It was unbelievable,” said JFRD Capt. Eric Prosswimmer. “If we didn’t launch the effort that we had and had the help that we had with FWC and JSO, we wouldn’t be sitting here with a happy response right now.”

READ: 4-year-old found dead in retention pond after missing child alert issued in Florida

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.