nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

Human Chain Saves Family From Drowning at Florida Beach

13 July 2017, 12:35 | Colleen Roy

Stunning moment 80 beachgoers risk their lives and form a human chain to save an entire family from drowning in a rip current

Panama City Beach: A family of nine saved from drowning by a human chain

Nearly 80 people created a live chain about 100 meters long to save nine members of a #Family from drowning, as they got trapped into the strong current on #Florida's beach, the CBS television channel reported.

"People who didn't even know each other went hand-in-hand in-line into the water". People who didn't even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them.

"I automatically thought they had seen a shark", Jessica Simmons said.

A family stuck in a rip current narrowly avoided a tragedy when a crowd of strangers linked together to bring them back to land.

She managed to reach the trapped swimmers and, along with her husband and a couple other people, began pulling them to the end of the chain.

The family was safely rescued thanks to Jessica Simmons, who grabbed a boogie board and got a human chain started with the help of her husband. "Without them, we wouldn't be here".

Roberta Ursrey was on the beach when she spotted her two sons screaming for help in the water, WJHG reports. "Without them, we wouldn't be her", she added. "These people are not drowning today, ' she told an Australian newspaper".

Ursrey's mother has been hospitalized for her massive heart attack and her nephew has a broken hand, but Ursrey reports that the family is recovering. The rest of the family swam out to help, only to get caught up in the current themselves.

Meanwhile, Jessica Simmons and her husband had come to the beach for dinner.

Along with Ursrey family members, a few bystanders were also stranded, and they too became victims of the ocean's fury in this rip current when swimming out attempting to save the Ursrey family. More than 80 percent of rescues by beach lifeguards are the result of swimmers who are stuck in the rip currents.

Tabatha Monroe told The Washington Post, they tried to swim sideways and straight to shore, but nothing worked.

People kept joining in the human chain to make sure the family of nine could be saved.

Roberta told the Panama City News Herald, "These people were God's angels that were in the right place at the right time". Making a bad situation worse, Ursrey's mother, Barbara Franz, who was still in the water, was suffering a heart attack. Upon returning to the sand after jumping in the water herself, Simmons noticed everyone else on the beach was looking and pointing somewhere inside the water. She received treatment at a nearby hospital and is now in stable condition.

The whole family was rescued by the heroic beachgoers, but some of them suffered injuries.

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