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Human Chain Saves Family From Drowning at Florida Beach

Human Chain Saves Family From Drowning at Florida Beach

Human chain saves family caught in rip current off Florida beach. (Screengrab of Twitter post/Palm Beach Post)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 July 2017 05:58 AM

An 80-person human chain saved a family from drowning at a Florida beach over the weekend.

The family was trapped in 15 feet of water at Panama City Beach on Saturday when beachgoers formed a human chain to save the family, according to USA Today.

Nine family members trapped in the water at the time of the rescue, according to the Panama City News Herald.

Roberta Ursrey and her relatives swam out in the water after seeing that her sons appeared to be trapped.

The boys were screaming for help. When Ursrey and her relatives got to the boys, they saw that they had been trapped in a rip current.

As Ursrey and her family attempted to rescue the boys from the current, they became trapped as well.

"I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day," Ursrey said, according to the News Herald. "It was like, 'Oh God, this is how I'm going.'"

Beachgoers saw the family struggling to get out of the current, so they formed a chain.

"I am so grateful," Ursrey told the News Herald. "These people were God's angels that were in the right place at the right time. I owe my life and my family's life to them. Without them, we wouldn't be here."

Jessica Simmons was one of those who came to the family's rescue, according to CBS News.

Simmons and her husband were at the beach for dinner at the time of the incident.

When she looked out into the water, she saw people pointing in the direction of an abandoned boogie board, but she originally thought beachgoers were pointing at a shark.

However, once she realized that a family was drowning, she hopped on the boogie board and started swimming toward Ursrey's family.

"These people are not drowning today," Simmons told herself, at the time, according to CBS News. "It's not happening. We are going to get them out."

Simmons' husband and a group of other men started a human chain, which eventually consisted of 80 people -- some in shallow water.

While the incident wasn't fatal, Ursrey's mother suffered a heart attack and her nephew broke his hand in the process.

Simmons was happy to see so many people band together to help rescue Ursrey's family.

"It's so cool to see how we have our own lives and we're constantly at a fast pace, but when somebody needs help, everybody drops everything and helps," Simmons said, according to CBS News. "That was really inspiring to see that we still have that.

"With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity," she added.

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An 80-person human chain saved a family from drowning at a Florida beach over the weekend.
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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 05:58 AM
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