People Form Human Chain to Rescue Drowning Family at the Beach

human chain at beach
Rosalind Beckton/Facebook

In case you needed a reason to smile today -- and really, who doesn't -- amazing photos are coming from a beach in Panama City, Florida, where a family of vacationers were pulled out to sea by a riptide. What's so amazing about that? Well, how about the human chain built by rescuers who linked hand in hand to stretch out into the ocean and rescue two kids and seven adults?


Talk about the global village coming out to help keep our kids safe!


The kids pulled out to sea were 8 and 11, according to CNN, and when mom Roberta Ursrey spotted her sons in the water, she and other family members tried to save them. Unfortunately, they too were caught in the current.

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That's when total strangers showed up to help. 

"All race & ages joining together to save lives," wrote vacationer Rosalind Beckton of Texas, whose photos are quickly going viral, along with video of the chain of people that's some 80-people long working to get each person back to safety. 

Rosalind Beckton/Facebook

"I always feared the beach waters," Beckton, a mom herself, shared on Facebook. "I tell my son over & over don't go out far because of rip currents/undertow and all the added danger of the waters."

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It's because of that danger that the human chain worked so well -- going in alone would have cost the rescuers just as it did the Ursrey family, but gathering together and providing an anchor to the shore enabled rescuers to stay safe while helping the family.

"To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!" one rescuer, Jessica Simmons, wrote on Facebook of the experience. "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."

It can be tough raising our kids in this day and age. The immediacy of Internet news means we know all about every bad thing that happens in our country and around the world. We see every day how powerless we are to keep our kids safe. And yet stories like this are an uplifting reminder that we don't have to do it all alone. There are people who are out there to help us and help our kids. 

As mom Roberta Ursrey told CNN, "As a mama, I'm supposed to be able to protect them and do everything, and I couldn't do it that day. I had to have help, which I was eternally grateful for that."

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