80 Beachgoers Form A Human Chain To Rescue A Family Caught In A Rip Current

July 12, 2017

A family is thankful to be alive after an estimated 80 people formed a human chain to save them from the grips of a rip current in Panama City Beach on Saturday.

human chain rescue beach panama city

Photos were snapped of the massive chain stretching into the water to reach 9 family members gasping for their lives.

"I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day," Roberta Ursrey, who ran into the rough water to save her children, told the paper. "It was like, 'Oh God, this is how I'm going.'"

human chain rescue beach panama city
Credit: Rosalind Beckton

Ursrey, her husband, mother, nephews and children were enjoying a day at the beach when she said she heard her two sons screaming for help.

Ursrey rushed into the water to try and save them. One by one, family members followed after her and they too were overtaken by the water.

Jessica Simmons, who credited herself as a strong swimmer, went in after the family and instructed others to connect with her in a chain.

human chain rescue beach panama city
Credit: Rosalind Beckton

Approximately 80 people ventured into the water to successfully bring each struggling swimmer to safety.

"It was the most remarkable thing to see," Simmons told the Herald. "These people who don't even know each other and they trust each other that much to get them to safety."

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