A couple of beachgoers were enjoying their day when suddenly, they noticed that a family got caught in a riptide. They decided to recruit as many people as possible and formed a human chain to save them.
Over 80 people at Panama City Beach, Florida, took time out of their weekends, locked arms to fight the waves and bring the nine people to safety.
On Saturday afternoon, Roberta Ursrey and her husband noticed that two of their children were 100 yards out into the Atlantic. But when a couple tried to save the boys, they also got stuck in the riptide.
And things only got worse. After other members of the Ursrey family tried to help, they also got trapped. With no lifeguard available and time running out for the sufferers, someone needed to take action.
Suddenly, a married couple came up with a brilliant idea. Derek and Jessica Simmons asked everyone around them to form a human chain to get to the family. Then, the pair took boogie boards and surfed along the chain to get to the Ursrey’s.
And the family went on Good Morning America to say thanks for the many people’s heroic efforts, especially Derek and Jessica. “Y’all were my angels that day,” Roberta told the rescuers of her family. “Y’all were my angels that day that saved my family. Without y’all, we wouldn’t be here.”
When asked how they started the chain, Derek said, “we didn’t have a rope, we didn’t have anything. So the only thing that could come to my mind was arm-to-arm. I’m yelling, ‘Guys! Grab arms! Grab wrists! We’ve gotta make a long enough path to get them!'”
And Derek wasn’t interested in saving the family just for 15 minutes of fame, he just wanted to make sure that everyone was OK. “We didn’t do this for any limelight. We did it because that’s what we would want somebody to do for our family.”