Beachgoers Saved Family by Making Human Chain

When a riptide caught and trapped a family in Panama City, Florida a large group of by-standers sprung into action to save them.

One witness, Rosalind Beckton says nine people, which included two children and an elderly woman, were trapped in a rip current when people on the shore saw them waving and screaming.

"I saw a group of people, a few at first, and then more and more, start forming a human chain." 

The chain was started by Derek and Jessica Simmons and began with only five people.

Derek says he understood why people hesitated.

“A lot of people were like, ‘There’s no way we’re getting in the water, we’re going to get swept out,’ but I guess they just swallowed the pride pill and they just got in. It was pretty amazing stuff for it to be different races, different genders, different ages; everybody got together to help...[Jessica and I] are no Olympic swimmers, not even Coast Guard swimmers but just two average people who spend a lot of time in the water. Everybody that was involved is a hero in my book.”

The chain grew to about 40 people to save the group that was more than 70 yards out from the shore.

Brittany and Tabatha Monroe were two of the swimmers caught in the tide when they tried to save the two boys.

"We grabbed the kids and tried to start swimming in and it just kept pulling us back. The water was really strong [on Saturday] but where we were it wasn’t pulling us. When we got to where the kids were, that's when we realized we were stuck."

Once everyone was pulled back in, the swimmers were taken to the hospital for treatment.

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