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Drowning Family Saved by 80-Person Human Chain in Florida

Drowning Family Saved by 80-Person Human Chain in Florida

NINE swimmers caught in a riptide have been saved from certain death by dozens of beach-goers who formed a human chain to pull them to shore.

Roberta Ursrey was visiting Panama City Beach with her husband, mother, sons and nephews on July 8.

A random "like" from that one follower you didn't think was watching; someone paying you a compliment on that one photo you weren't too sure about; millions of people donating to a good cause to save someone's life.

Mr Simmons said he was having a picnic with his family on the beach when he noticed people pointing towards the water. Mrs. Ursrey said she was sure her family was going to die in the water.

Ms Simmons and her husband swam out and passed the exhausted people down the chain back to the beach.

"Without them, we wouldn't be here because emergency personnel stood on the beach", Ursrey said. As the human chain formed, they swam past its ever-expanding reach to try and relieve the ten people who had been desperately treading water for nearly thirty minutes.

"It was the most remarkable thing to see", said Jessica Simmons.

Luckily, Jessica Simmons and her husband came to the rescue, encouraging people to hold hands and reach out for those who were in difficulties.

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Rip currents are particularly unsafe because they are hard to identify and if you are caught in one it drags you away from the beach.

The human chain started on shore and grew to over 80 people.

Once people began forming the chain, it eventually reached about 100 yards into the ocean.

Jessica Simmons was one of the bystanders who helped create the chain.

Some of the people involved in a dramatic human chain that was formed to save a Florida family from drowning Monday have reunited.

Roberta Ursrey found herself being swept away in a riptide, along with her two young sons. They realized the waters were much stronger than they anticipated and became trapped as well. The Washington Post reported she awoke on the beach to the sounds of screams coming from the water - it was her mother. Nine people were stuck in about 15 feet of water, according to Ursrey, whose mother suffered a massive heart attack during the harrowing incident. She told the North-West Florida Daily News the family's rescuers were "God's angels that were in the right place at the right time".

She was taken to hospital, where she remains, recovering.

As the lifeguards had already left last Saturday evening, beachgoers swung into operation after seeing them fighting for their lives in the nerve-wracking ordeal.

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