Panama City Beach: A family of nine saved from drowning by a human chain

Beachgoers formed a human chain on Saturday afternoon off Panama City Beach to rescue nine drowning members of a family. Roberta Ursrey, her husband, mother, nephews and sons were saved from drowning as 80 people formed a human chain to rescue them.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:July 11, 2017 11:49 am
Panama City Beach, human chain, Florida, United States, World news, Indian Express news As the current was too strong, all nine members of the family were trapped in about 15 feet of water. (Representational image)

Beachgoers formed a human chain on Saturday afternoon off Panama City Beach to rescue nine drowning members of a family. As per a report in NWFDailyNews.com, Roberta Ursrey, her husband, mother, nephews and sons were saved from drowning as 80 people, stretching out over 100 yards into the water, formed a human chain to rescue them. The chain was led by Jessica Simmons and her husband.

Ursrey saw her sons stuck in water when she and her family paddled in to reach out to them, the report said. As the current was too strong, all nine of them were trapped in about 15 feet of water. Her mother suffered a serious heart attack during the ordeal and almost died. “I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,” Ursrey told NWFDailyNews.com. “It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’ ”

Simmons, a resident of Alabama, was relaxing on the beach with her husband when she saw everyone looking at and pointing in the direction of Ursrey and her kin. She promptly started swimming towards the distressed family while her husband and a few other men started a human chain to bring the swimmers back to shore. “These people are not drowning today,” Simmons was quoted as telling herself. “It’s not happening. We’re going to get them out.”

Soon enough, the chain grew, with Simmons at the end of it. One by one, starting with the children, Simmons and her husband, along with a few other rescuers, towed the swimmers to the human chain, who then pulled them all to shore.

According to a report in wsfa.com, Ursrey’s mother was rushed to the ICU with an aortic aneurism in her stomach from fighting the current, and is currently in Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart in Panama City, recovering.

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