Strangers Form Giant Human Chain To Save Swimmers From Rip Current
Unfortunately it was two kids who got caught in a rip current this past weekend at Panama City Beach.
A couple noticed the two kiddos stranded out in the water on boogie boards. However, when multiple people attempted to swim out to save them, they were then caught in the powerful current as well. Eight people were on the verge of drowning before Panama City Beach Fish and Wildlife Officers arrived; but even by that point, strangers, roughly 80 of them, had jumped in to help by forming a giant, human chain.
“I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,” Roberta Ursrey, who ran into the rough water to save her children. “It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’”
Ursrey, her husband, mother, nephews and children were enjoying the warm water when she said she heard her two sons screaming offshore that they were stuck.
One woman suffered a heart attack during the rescue attempt. But she’s now recovering the hospital. All the others, including the kiddos, were saved.
According to the National Ocean Service, about 100 people are killed from rip currents each year. The agency says the best thing to do if you get caught in a rip current is to actually swim parallel to the shore at an angle, instead of trying to fight the current directly.