There is strength in numbers. This was proven anew in an admirable way that strangers on a Florida beach formed an 80-person human chain to come to the rescue of an entire family of nine who had been caught in a riptide and pulled too far from shore Saturday.
Roberta Ursrey and her family were having a good time at M.B. Miller County Pier on the Gulf of Mexico when she noticed that her sons were missing. She went to look for them and soon hear them shouting for help from the water where they were trapped by the current.
Ursrey went to the water despite warnings from others that it would be dangerous to do so. Still, she along with her mother and five other family members swam to where the boys were trapped with the goal of rescuing them. Instead, all of them were trapped in 15-feet of water.
Jessica Simmons who was at the beach for dinner with her husband immediately went to try to rescue the drowning family. Simmons’ husband then assembled some other men and started a human chain in the hopes of bringing everyone back to shore. Soon more people came to help until they reached about 80 people and the human chain got to within a few feet of the family. Even those who could not swim joined the human chain, and stayed on the shallow end of the chain.
Simmons, her husband, and some others then towed the family to the chain, which passed them back to shore.
Simmons recounted the whole experience in a Facebook post and said: “To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see! People who didn’t even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE , into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that.”
Usrey for her part could not be more thankful for everyone’s help. She 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 also told the Northwest Florida Daily: “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. That was really inspiring to see that we still have that. With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity.”