80 people form human chain to save family at Florida beach

Beachgoers in Florida formed an 80-person human chain to rescue a family that got too far out in the ocean and almost drowned.

Roberta Ursrey and her family were enjoying the day at M.B. Miller County Pier on the Gulf of Mexico when she noticed her sons were missing, the Panama City News Herald reported. As the human chain formed, they swam past its ever-expanding reach to try and relieve the ten people who had been desperately treading water for nearly thirty minutes.

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.

Rosalind Beckton, 38, was at the beach with her 12-year-old son and caught the rescue effort on camera.

That's when the couple started a human chain in an attempt to reach the family and pull them to safety. "Boy, do I have a story", she said.

The Panama City Beach Police Department did not immediately reply to ABC News' request for comment. The waves were throwing the grandmother's body around and it took a lot of strength from the grandmother's son-in-law, Derek Simmons and another person to keep her head above the water during the rescue.

With all the sharing we finally got a picture.

An estimated 70 people came together to help rescue a Florida family caught in a riptide
Florida beachgoers form 80-person human chain to save drowning family

"The more we tried to swim in, the further we went out", Monroe said.

"They were screaming and crying".

She told News Herald, "I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day".

Once Simmons realized the family had been swept out too far, she grabbed a boogie board and paddled toward them as her husband and a few other men started the human chain to bring the swimmers back to shore, according to the Herald.

In an attempt to rescue her family, Ursey also found herself trapped in the powerful tide.

"It actually showed me there are good people in this world", Ursrey told The Post. "I ran back to shore and my husband ran over to them". It was the human chain that pulled us out of that water. Ursey referred to those courageous men and women on the beach that pulled them out as "God's angels". "They were so fearless to get out there and risk their lives to save others", said Beckton, who offered her CPR services on shore.

  • Rogelio Becker