Beachgoers form 80-person human chain to save drowning family

by Antonio Miles July 13, 2017, 0:33
Beachgoers form 80-person human chain to save drowning family

One of the witnesses, Rosalind Beckton, uploaded photos of the rescue on Facebook showing how strangers jumped in to help people from drowning.

In another Facebook post, Jessica Mae Simmons wrote that around 70 people helped to form the human chain and that her and her husband, as strong swimmers, were part of a group who helped the stranded people to the chain so they could be pulled back to shore. Law enforcement was present, but The Washington Post reports that they were waiting for a rescue boat to arrive.

Jessica and Derek Simmons were enjoying time with family before the drowning happened near the M.B. Miller County Pier around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

But before they knew it, two good samaritans would start a chain to save them. The riptide victims had already been struggling to keep their heads above water for twenty minutes, and they were exhausted. A rip current are incredibly strong tunnels of water that can pull you out from shore.

Roberta Ursrey was on the beach when she spotted her two sons screaming for help in the water, WJHG reports.

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.

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"I knew we had to do something".

And if it wasn't for fast-acting Jessica Simmons and her husband, the Ursrey family probably would've drowned.

'These people are not drowning today, ' Simmons told the newspaper. The swimmers, who reportedly included two young boys and a group of adults who swam out to rescue them, were caught in the water around 6:30 p.m., after the beach's lifeguards had left for the day, according to Simmons. "I told them I don't care that's my kids", Roberta recounted and she went into the tide and got herself stuck in the same situation.

The most hard to save was Ms Ursrey's 67-year-old mother, who had suffered a heart attack in the water and was described by Mr Simmons as "lifeless". Several were taken to the hospital and were in stable condition as of July 11. Usrey's nephew broke his hand in the ordeal, but everyone made it out alive, though shaken. "Without them, we wouldn't be here". It seemed like a miracle that people like her were on the beach that day.

"To see people from different races and genders come into action to help total strangers is absolutely awesome to see", she wrote.

Despite being warned not to go into the water, Ursrey, her mother and five other family members swam to the boys' aid, but then found themselves also in trouble, Northwest Florida Daily News reported.


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