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Boy, 7, honored for calling 911 after he and his little sister were stranded on a boat on Lake Belton

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 3:24 PM CST
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Belton, Texas (KWTX) - Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and one Central Texas hero is 7 years old and about 4 feet tall.

Yusef Khan, 7, was awarded a life-saving medal by the Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Department for saving his family’s life.

Yusef and his family were enjoying a boat ride on Lake Belton as they had done many times before. Young Yusef was excited. But excitement quickly turned to fear when Yusef’s dad Ali Khan jumped in for a swim without a life vest. After a short swim he decided to return to the boat but couldn’t.

“When I looked back the boat had drifted away pretty far, big time,” Ali Khan said.

He says he quickly ran out of energy and his wife not knowing how to drive a boat jumped in instead with a life vest to save him.

“All I could see was my husband about to drown,” said the mom Beenish Khan. “So I said to Yusef ‘you need to wait here for two minutes I’m going to go get your papa and I’ll be right back.”

But she wasn’t right back. The boat continued to drift away as the couple swam 45 minutes to reach shore. That left little Yusef and his sleeping 1-year-old sister stranded in the middle of Lake Belton alone.

“I thought they were going to die,” Yusef said as he remembered the worst day of his short life.

But even with such a scary thought he stayed calm and did something his mom had taught him years prior: he called 911.

“They asked ‘where are you?’ and I said ‘a lake’ and they said ‘do you know which lake?’ and I said ‘no’,” Yusef recounted.

He didn’t know where he was but he did know was how to describe his environment in such detail that the rescuers were able to locate he and his baby sister who was now awake and crying.

“The 911 operator said he was singing the baby shark song to calm her down,” said dad, Ali Khan.

Although this family’s story had a happy ending, the family says the trauma for little Yusef was unshakable.

“He told me ‘When I couldn’t see you guys no more I thought you guys had drowned and these 911 responders are going to come find your body. But since I don’t have parents anymore, they’ll raise me so I’ll just be a cop’,” dad said.

The family says they are urging all parents to teach their children life saving measures.

“We just told him and we never thought he would use it but he used it and he used it in the best way,” mom, Beenish Khan said. “So just teach your kids whatever you want to teach them and they will know what to do when the time comes,” she said.

The family said once they were reunited that day, they made a pledge that everyone including dad will always have a life vest on.

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