13 July, 2017
Roberta Ursrey, her husband, mother, nephews and sons were near the M.B. Miller County Pier when the incident occurred. "These people who don't even know each other and they trust each other that much to get them to safety".
Jessica Simmons, who had stopped with her husband at the beach for dinner, had just found a discarded boogie board when she saw people pointing at the water. She soon heard them scream and cry for help.
"It was the most remarkable thing to see", said Simmons.
Despite her best efforts to save her family, Ursrey got caught in the riptide along with the rest of her family.
More than 100 people a year die across the nation after getting caught in rip currents, according to the United States Lifesaving Association. The strangers formed the human chain on their own, she said.
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However, no mother can watch her children drown, so Ursrey began to swim out to her boys along with other members of her family, including her mother.
When Roberta Ursey and her family made a decision to take a quick beach trip, the events that unfolded were a true testament to human compassion in the face of adversity.
When caught in a rip current, the experts from the United States Lifesaving Association say to swim, float, or tread water in a line parallel to the shoreline.
While forming the human every beachgoer wanted to save the family, so started helping, eventually 80 people were involved in the human chain, and started helping to save the family. The group stuck out in the current consisted of Ursrey, her two young sons, and Ursrey's mother, who was the grandmother of the bunch treading water waiting for help.
As the lifeguards had already left last Saturday evening, beachgoers swung into operation after seeing them fighting for their lives in the nerve-wracking ordeal. So fellow beachgoers did what good people do in times of trouble: They teamed up and looked out for one another.
80 people on the beach formed a chain to reach the family.
Monroe and her wife Tabatha were visiting the beach from Lagrange, Georgia. She received treatment at a nearby hospital and is now in stable condition.