Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY Network [video and additional photographs on original article]
Image from article, with caption: Beachgoers band together to save a family from drowning at Panama City Beach in Florida on July 8, 2017.
Florida beachgoers banded together Saturday to save a family from drowning.
Roberta Ursrey and her family were at Panama City Beach when she noticed her sons were too far from shore, The Panama City News Herald reported. The boys were screaming, so Ursrey and her relatives swam to them, but became trapped in a rip current.
According to the City News Herald, nine people were trapped in 15 feet of water.
“I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day,” Ursrey said. “It was like, ‘Oh God, this is how I’m going.’”
While several news outlets reported 80 people were part of the chain, Leona Garrett, one of the witnesses to human chain, said it was 30 or fewer people.
Starting with the children, the rescuers towed the swimmers along the human chain and pulled them to shore, the newspaper reported.
“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.”