Human Chain Rescues Family from Rip Current

Officials in Panama City Beach say Roberta Ursrey and her family owe their lives to 80 complete strangers.

The family was enjoying a Saturday at the beach in Bay County when Roberta noticed her sons were in deeper water than she first thought. Then she said she heard them screaming that they were stuck in the deep water, so she and the rest of her family swam out to get them.

According to incident accounts, Roberta and the rest of the family wound up stuck in the strong current, as well.A visitor to the beach saw what was happening and struck out to help the family, using a salvaged boogie board as a way to keep from getting dragged by the current.The visitor's husband and other people also began forming a human chain from the beach toward the swimmers.

When it was over, a chain of 80 people was stretching 100 yards out to the surf.Officials say they were able to rescue the family.Roberta's mother suffered a massive heart-attack during the ordeal, but officials say she is recovering at an area hospital.


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