Not everyone turns a blind eye when they see another person in need. Strangers at Panama City Beach in Florida came together over the weekend to rescue a family from drowning. And, we aren’t talking about screaming and yelling for a lifeguard’s assistance, either…
The Panama City News Herald reports that Roberta Ursrey and her family were spending the day at the Florida Panhandle beach when she saw that her sons had drifted too far from the shore. After she heard her children scream, she and other members of the family swam to save them but ended up trapped in a riptide that pulled them even further from the shore. Nine relatives in total tried to save the kids and ended up caught up themselves in 15 feet of rushing water.
That was when another beachgoer/superhero sprang into action. Jessica Simmons spotted the family struggling in the water and realized they were drowning. Simmons told the AP it was at that point that she jumped on a boogie board and began swimming towards Ursrey’s family.
“These people are not drowning today,” Simmons recalled saying to herself. “It’s not happening. We are going to get them out.”
While she fought the water to help the family in need, Simmons’ husband and others on the beach banded together to form an 80-person human chain to rescue the family. The rescuers were able to tow the family to the human chain and safely pull them all to shore, starting with the children.
“I am so grateful,” Ursrey told The Panama City News Herald. “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.”