We all want to go on a beach and enjoy with our family but that fun outing can take a twist that can even lead to death. Accidents happen and the same happened on a beach in Florida when a family out for a beach picnic were caught in a dangerous riptide and was seen drowning.
Roberta Ursrey was out with her family were at Panama City Beach for a family outing when she suddenly noticed that her sons were too far into the water. They were screaming, so Ursrey and her relatives quickly swam up to them, but they too got trapped in a rip current and started drowning.
The first people to hear them were Brittany and her husband Tabatha Monroe. They swam over and grabbed hold of their boogie boards. But when they tried towing them back to shore, the women couldn’t break free of the current.
It was the evening of July 8, the peak summer season in Panama City Beach for Florida tourists enjoy the beaches. The people present there noticed a police truck on the sand, flashing lights by the boardwalk, and some people drowning and desperately needed help.
The people on the beach saw two young kids and four adults and some other people had been swept away by a powerful and deceptive riptide churning below the water’s surface.
Jessica Simmons called out for other 80 people present on the beach and decided to help the people drowning. At that time there was no lifeguard present on duty and the others were waiting for rescues boat to save them. People on the beach had no rescue equipment, only boogie boards, surf boards and their arms and legs.
“Form a human chain!” the people started shouting.
The mother was the one who was trapped in the tremendous water current. She and the other eight people stranded with her had already been in the water for nearly 20 minutes, fighting for their lives.
People on the beach started forming a human chain and 80 people came together and formed a huge chain to save the people from drowning.
Jessica Simmons said “I got to the end, and I know I’m a really good swimmer. I practically lived in a pool. I knew I could get out there and save them.”
The chain of 80 people started with the kids, passing Stephen and Noah back along the chain, which passed them all the way to the beach.
“I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day. It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going’,” Ursrey said.
But she was saved and was on the ground when she woke up. There were still some people in the water including Ursrey’s mother and she was having a heart attack at that point.
“That’s when the chain got the biggest,” Ursrey said. “They linked up wrists, legs, arms. If they were there, they were helping.”
After about an hour of struggle and hard work, the family who were drowning were saved and brought back to the shore. The entire beach began to applaud.