70 people form human chain to save the lives of drowning people in a Florida beach | world-news | Hindustan Times
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70 people form human chain to save the lives of drowning people in a Florida beach

Jessica and her husband Derek were the first to spot the drowning people in the rip tide. she gathered people on the beach to form a human chain and swam through them to save the lives.

world Updated: Jul 12, 2017 17:11 IST
(Facebook/Rosalind Beckton )

Humanity still exits. A human chain of 70 people saved the lives of nine people, including two children, from the rip tide at the shores of Panama City beach in Florida.

Jessica Mae Simmons and her husband Derek were the first to spot the drowning people in the rip tide. she gathered people on the beach to form a human chain and swam through them to save the lives.

“What really got me was how a entire BEACH jumped into action to save these people. People who COULDNT even swim was part of that human chain. They wanted to help that bad. I just wish I could share a picture or video of it. Man it was life changing to witness it (sic),” Jessica wrote in her Facebook post.

Facebook/Rosalind Beckton

The incident happened on the Saturday afternoon. Roberta Ursrey, who is originally from Georgia, went to the beach with her family – mother, husband, two daughters and two boys and a nephew – on Saturday to enjoy the day.

The whole family got into the water but Roberta came out as she “was not feeling well”.

“I seen my mom, 2 daughters, husband and nephew all together but I didn’t see my boys so I went looking for them. I found them way out in the water. So I went down to tell them to come in and all I heard was my 2 boys screaming and crying (sic),” she wrote in a post which she shared on gofundme.com, wherein she is collecting funds for the treatment of her mother who suffered a heart attack in the water.

“On my way out there were some people coming out telling me not to go out after them. I told them I don’t care that’s my kids,” Roberta recounted. She went into the tide and got herself stuck in the same situation.

“Well once my family seen what was going on they swam over to try and help and ended up getting stuck in the rip tide as well.” Roberta’s two daughter managed to get out of the water, but other members of her family, including herself, got stuck in the killer waves of the beach.

Apart from the Roberta’s family, a Chinese couple was also caught in the tide when they went inside to save the children.

When Jessica and her husband Derek noticed some odd activity around the shore, she didn’t imagine that people were drowning.

Facebook/ Jessica Mae Simmons

“When I notice everyone’s direction was facing the water. I automatically thought SHARK. So I slowly start coming out of the water as Derek went over to find out what is going on. That is when I seen the police truck on the beach.. and that is when I knew someone was drowning.... my heart sank,” she said.

“I knew we had to do something. Derek, Kate (his niece) and some people started gathering people on the beach to form a “HUMAN CHAIN”. “

Photo credit: (Facebook/Rosalind Beckton )

Jessica with other people on the beach in the selfless act helped save the lives of people without thinking about their own.

“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,” Jessica said.

Thankfully, all the nine people drowning were saved.

Jessica, however, mentioned about the careless attitude of the police officers at the beach, who she says didn’t offered any help at that moment.

“What I do want to make note of is the 5 police officers sitting on the beach did not even offer to even help or be apart of the human chain. In fact, one of the police officers handed his board off to someone in the crowd for THEM to go out and get them,” she said.

Rosalind Beckton, one of the witness to the act, in a Facebook post, wrote, “Today we witness some REAL HERO’S and it wasn’t THE GUY’S IN UNIFORM.... IT WAS PPL OUT ON THE BEACH THAT HAD THE CARE/HEART TO RISK THEIR LIVES TO SAVE SOMEONE. THESE PPL JOIN HANDS & PULLED OUT 8 PPL ONE BY ONE WHO WAS STUCK IN A RIP CURRENT, WHILE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WATCHED. ONLY ONE COP RAN INTO THE WATER TO GIVE A HAND (sic).”

Over 35,000 reacted to Jessica’s post. They praised her and other people who formed the human chain for their bravery. Here’s the post:

Here are some of the reactions: