"These people are not drowning today", Simmons said she thought to herself.
Jessica and Derek's quick thinking and unwillingness to see them drown, is what saved Ursrey's family at Panama City Beach.
Rosalind Beckton of Tallahassee shared incredible pictures of the scene on Facebook in which people can be seen with arms linked in a human chain as they attempt to pull the stranded group back to shore at Panama City Beach on Sunday (9 July). Simmons, a strong swimmer, grabbed a boogie board she'd found lying on the beach and began paddling out to the family in distress while her husband and a few other men started forming a human chain. Others who attempted to rescue them got caught in the current, too.
Even non-swimmers were determined to help, standing in the shallows, while others stood in water up to their necks. But she also alleged that there were people in uniform who sat idly by as the human chain was being formed. Some good Samaritans also swam out to help, but soon they all realized that they were stuck.
"It was the most remarkable thing to see", said Simmons. "They were so courageous to get out there and risk their lives to save others", said Beckton, who offered her CPR services on shore.
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When Roberta tried going into the water some people came out telling her not to go out after them.
And if it wasn't for fast-acting Jessica Simmons and her husband, the Ursrey family probably would've drowned.
Ursrey and her family survived the harrowing ordeal. The riptide victims had already been struggling to keep their heads above water for twenty minutes, and they were exhausted. Among the onlookers was Jessica Mae Simmons, whose husband told the crowd to form a chain.
When Ursrey woke up, she learned that her mother had suffered a heart attack while in the water.
Ms Ursrey said she was "so grateful" to the people who had rescued her, describing them as "God's angels".
"I witnessed many courageous citizens risking their safety and their lives to form this human chain".
It was an incredible rescue mission which saw Florida beachgoers form an epic human chain to rescue a family who were swept away by treacherous rip tides. Luckily, she was able to be revived and remains in the hospital, where she is in stable condition.