When things go wrong, sometimes all you need is the helping hand of a stranger — or 80 of them.
Roberta Ursrey and her family were swimming at Panama City Beach, Florida, when she noticed her two sons caught in a rip current, according to the Panama City News Herald.
Ursery, her husband, her mother and other family members swam out to help. But they also fell victim to the rip current and almost drowned until the unbelievable happened:
One by one, strangers linked arms and formed a human chain stretching from the shore to the family in distress.
“I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,” Ursrey said, according to the News Herald. “It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’”
Fortunately, two good Samaritans vacationing at the beach on Saturday saw what was happening and made a quick decision to help.
Jessica Simmons, of Hueytown, Alabama, and her husband, Derek, instructed nearby beachgoers to form a chain, in hopes that they could reach the nine swimmers on the verge of drowning.
“It started with five people,” Simmons told WBRC. “Then it started with 15 people, and then it got bigger and bigger, and people were just coming in. It was amazing.”
In all, 80 people — all strangers to the Ursrey family — joined arms and stretched over 100 yards to reach the swimmers.
When the chain reached them, the swimmers were exhausted from trying to stay afloat, so Derek and Jessica used a surfboard and a boogie board to help carry them to safety.
Ursrey passed out during the rescue and only remembers waking up on the shore. Her mother experienced an aortic aneurysm during the incident, according to WSFA, and was taken to Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart in Panama City.
“I am so grateful,” Ursrey said. “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.”
The news of the rescue caught the nation’s attention. Check out this coverage from “Inside Edition.”
Wow! With all the negative, hostile and indifferent attitudes that seem to have taken over our society lately, it’s nice to see that some people are still kindhearted and willing to help those in need, even strangers.
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