Massive Chain Saves Family From Drowning at Florida Beach

Aaron Brown
July 12, 2017

"It was like 'Oh my God, this is how I'm going".

They tried to swim straight and they tried to swim sideways, Tabatha Monroe told The Washington Post, but nothing worked.

The human chain eventually grew to 80 people, including some who couldn't swim but helped from the shallows, stretching over 100 yards into the water.

Ursrey just left the water but when she turned around, she noticed that her sons were already very far from the shore.

For 20 minutes, Ursrey, the rest of her family as well as other swimmers were fighting for their lives.

"One of the biggest problems is people treat the ocean as they would a swimming pool, especially when the waves are smaller", Paxton said.

Most of those who saw the struggling family felt powerless to help them - as it looked like they were too far out to sea to help.

The Panama City Beach Police Department did not immediately reply to ABC News' request for comment. The news made Jessica Simmons' heart sink: A group of people got caught in the rip tide. Once the distressed swimmers made it to the chain, people started pulling the victims to shore.

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One of the beachgoers named Jessica Simmons realized that someone was drowning.

Ursrey passed out as she was being saved and her mother, Franz suffered a heart attack in the ambulance and was rushed to the hospital, where she is still recovering.

"I knew I could get out there and get to them", she told the Panama City News Herald.

Ursrey remembered Simmons coaxing her to carry on.

That's when Jessica and Derek Simmons started a human chain to try to reach the family and bring them back to shore. That when someone is drowning, we just can't turn our backs on them.

With all the sharing we finally got a picture.

"A entire BEACH jumped into action to save these people", Ms Simmons said on Facebook. Ursrey said of the close call's happy ending, "It actually showed me there are good people in this world".

Simmons, an Alabama native who also happened to be having dinner by the beach, decided it was time to step in. "These people who don't even know each other and they trust each other that much to get them to safety", said Simmons.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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