Strangers formed an 80-person human chain to rescue swimmers from drowning

Beachgoers form human chain to save family of 9 from drowning in Panama City Beach

"It was like 'Oh my God, this is how I'm going".

The chain eventually grew to around 40 people, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

However, once she realized that a family was drowning, she hopped on the boogie board and started swimming toward Ursrey's family.

"They were trying their best to swim and everything but once you've been out there in a rip current for that long, it's like running a race all day long, it's just tiring", he said. "I knew I could get out there and get to them".

According to a report in wsfa, Ursrey's mother was rushed to the ICU with an aortic aneurism in her stomach from fighting the current, and is now in Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart in Panama City, recovering. The news made Jessica Simmons' heart sink: A group of people got caught in the rip tide.

Ms Simmons described a distressing scene in the water, including finding the family's grandmother was nearly unconscious as she was hauled back to shore.




Luckily, fellow beachgoer Jessica Simmons noticed the growing crowd on shore pointing toward the Ursreys as they struggled against the current.

Ms Ursey, who was rescued from the water alongside her family, told the News Herald: "I am so grateful".

Ms Simmons, who is from Alabama and said she was raised in a pool and a lake since she could crawl, posted on Facebook that there were heavy rains at the beach when the incident occurred. The chain was led by Jessica Simmons and her husband.

She and her husband started with the children, passing Noah and Stephen back along the human chain, which passed them all the way to the beach. Ursrey's mother was exhausted, her eyes were rolling back and Simmons remembered her "drinking so much water" and "telling us to just let her go and save us".

"It was beachgoers and the grace of God's will", Ursrey said. Monroe was later released after being treated for a panic attack and Franz remains hospitalized, her daughter said. "We are going to get them out". Ursrey said of the close call's happy ending, "It actually showed me there are good people in this world". "They were so fearless to get out there and risk their lives to save others", said Beckton, who offered her CPR services on shore.

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