Florida beachgoers form an 80-person human chain to save family

Strangers on a Florida beach formed an 80-person human chain to rescue nine members of family who had been caught in a riptide and pulled too far from shore. USA TODAY

Florida beachgoers banded together Saturday to save a family from drowning. 

Roberta Ursrey and her family were at Panama City Beach when she noticed her sons were too far from shore, The Panama City News Herald reported. The boys were screaming, so Ursrey and her relatives swam to them, but became trapped in a rip current. 

According to the City News Herald, nine people were trapped in 15 feet of water. 

“I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,” Ursrey said. “It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’”

Thankfully beachgoers noticed the family struggling and banded together to form an 80-person human chain, AP reported. 

Starting with the children, the rescuers towed the swimmers along the human chain and pulled them to shore, the newspaper reported. 

“I am so grateful,” Ursrey told The Panama City News Herald. “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.”



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