Group of 80 People at Panama City Beach Form a Human Chain to Save a Drowning Family

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Beachgoers formed a human chain near the M.B. Miller County Pier on Saturday afternoon off Panama City Beach, Florida, to rescue nine swimmers who were drowning. [The News Herald]

Apparently some people from Alabama knew about disaster recovery because of tornadoes, and upon seeing distressed beach-goers, Jessica Simmons thought:

“These people are not drowning today. It’s not happening. We’re going to get them out.”

She dove in to save the Florida People. Her husband got to work on gathering beach-goers to help him form a human chain, interlocked on a unique rescue mission.

The News Herald reports that as Jessica Simmons paddled, the human chain grew, with 80 people stretching over 100 yards out to the distressed swimmers. Some of them couldn’t swim, Simmons said, but wanted to help and stayed in the shallows. Others stood in water up to their necks, waiting for Simmons and her husband to cover the last few feet so they could pass the swimmers to shore.

“It was the most remarkable thing to see,” Simmons said. “These people who don’t even know each other and they trust each other that much to get them to safety.”

The Florida family was saved by all these brave people. Nobody died, but there were a few injuries.

“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.”

If you have any extra money around (and you know you do, and you know what the right thing to do is), you should make a donation to the family on their GoFundMe page.

Looking back, Simmons said it wasn’t so much about what she did to help rescue the family, but everyone dropping what they were doing to help.

“It’s so cool to see how we have our own lives and we’re constantly at a fast pace, but when somebody needs help, everybody drops everything and helps,” Simmons said. “That was really inspiring to see that we still have that.

She added:

“With everything going on in the world, we still have humanity.”