Eighty Beachgoers Form Incredible Human Chain To Save Drowning Family

'These people are not drowning today'

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If your faith in humankind is need of a little restoration, let us introduce you to the innocent holiday-goers relaxing in Panama Beach City in Florida this week.

In what classifies as a fairly dramatic day at the beach, eight or so people clumped together to help save a family who had been swept away by a powerful riptide churning below the water's surface.

Roberta Ursrey and her family were enjoying themselves in the sea on Saturday, despite the yellow-flag conditions. However, when Ursrey got out of the water and turned around, she realized she couldn't find her family (and we're talking about her entire family here, including Ursrey's husband, her mother, nephews and sons).

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As she walked along the beach and looked out into the ocean, she heard her family screaming and crying.

'I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,' Ursrey told the Panama City News Herald. 'People were saying, 'Don't go out there.'''

Panic kicked in. Ursrey jumped back into the water to help her family, but she too got caught in the strong current.

At this point there are seven people battling to stay above the water's surface.

Luckily, a woman called Jessica Simmons and her husband came to the rescue, encouraging people to hold hands and reach out for the family in trouble.

'I automatically thought they had seen a shark,' Simmons said. When she realized multiple people were drowning, she knew she had to act quickly.

The brave thought that ran through Simmons' head? 'These people are not drowning today,' she told an Australian newspaper. 'It's not happening. We're going to get them out.'

There was no life guards on duty and people on the beach had no rescue equipment, only boogie boards, surf boards and their arms and legs.

People started shouting 'Form a human chain!' and slowly five volunteers swam out to sea and took their place, then 15, then dozens more until a human link curved around the drowning family.

The couple were able to save everyone by helping the swimmers reach the human chain so they could easily make it back to land.

'I am so grateful,' Ursrey said. '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.'

She added: 'With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity.'

In a Facebook post, Simmons expressed a similar sentiment: '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.'

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