Almost 80-persons formed a human chain on a Florida Panhandle Beach to rescue nine members of a single family who were caught by powerful and deceptive rip currents seething below the water’s surface.
As reported by the Panama City News Herald, Roberta Ursrey had gone to the beach near M.B. Miller County Pier on Saturday, 9 July, enjoying the day with her family. Amidst that, she noticed her sons were missing from the spot.
The situation made her fretful, and she abruptly started looking for them. Suddenly, Ursrey heard her son’s screams from the water and felt that they were trapped by the current.
She said, “They were screaming and crying that they were stuck, and people were saying, ‘Don’t go out there.’ ”
She added, “I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day, It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’ ”
People who were present on the spot warned Ursrey no to go in the water, but she with her mother and five other family members started swimming out to their help. Soon they found themselves also trapped in the water, and during this ordeal, her mother suffered a massive heart attack. She remains hospitalised.
According to Orlando Sentinel, Jessica Simmons and her husband had stopped for dinner at the same beach. She saw people pointing at the water but thought that they were pointing at a shark. When she realised that people were drowning in the water, she jumped on a discarded boogie board and began swimming towards Ursrey’s family.
“These people are not drowning today,” she remembers telling herself. “It’s not happening. We are going to get them out.”
In the meantime, Simmons’ husband and some other men made a human chain helping everyone getting back to the shore. People who could not swim stayed in the shallow water. Eventually, about 80 people were involved and got to within feet of the family.
Ursrey said, “I am so grateful, 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.”
Simmons said she was impressed by everyone who worked together to rescue the 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, and that was really inspiring to see that we still have that. With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity,” she added.
The Logical Indian community salutes the braveness of the 80 something people who came together to help the family drowning in water. Their act of immense courage instils hope in each of us that human beings can achieve wonders when united for a positive cause.