A day on Florida’s Panama City Beach almost turned tragic for Roberta Ursery and her family Saturday.
“I seen my husband, my mama, my oldest daughter, and my youngest daughter and my nephew, but I ain’t seen my boys,” Ursrey said.
When she finally saw her 8 and 11 year-old boys they were far out in the water. She later realized they were caught in a rip current.
“They were screaming and crying that they were stuck and they couldn’t go no where,” Ursrey explained.
In a state of panic, Ursrey and most of her family ran into the water to rescue her children, but the current proved too much.
“We all ended up being stuck in it,” Ursrey said.
While in the water struggling to stay afloat, Ursrey said that’s when something amazing happened: a selfless act performed by strangers that she said helped save her life.
People on the beach locked arms and formed a human chain to reach Ursrey and the others caught in the rip current.
Jessica Simmons was one of the people who helped the family get out of the water. She said the idea for a human chain came about as people were trying to figure out how to reach the family.
“It went from like five people to about 70 people at the end. It lasted well over an hour,” Simmons said.