(CNN) A family locked in the current of anguish obviously avoided a tragedy when a crowd of strangers is connected to bring it back to earth.
Nine players, including two children and an elderly woman, were trapped in the stream in Panama City Beach, Florida on Saturday. The spectators on the shore saw them shouting and waving their arms, and they went into action.
“I saw a group of people, a few at first, then more and more, they begin to form a human chain,” Rosalind Beckton told CNN.
The channel reaches about 70 to 80 foreigners, holding hands and stretching to reach the trapped group. All the swimmers did.
Roberta Ursrey was in Panama City Beach, Florida with her family on Saturday, when she realized that she could not see her son from the shore.
He saw the boys, who were 8 and 11 years old, screaming and filled with water, told CNN affiliate WJHG.
Ursrey and his family ran to save them, but they were dominated by the current.
The family and several others who had tried to help the son of Ursrey themselves, nine in all, were blocked. The group started waving their arms in the air and screaming.
“At first I thought it was a shark in the water, so I started shouting my son out of the water and swimming to the shore,” said Beckton, CNN witness.
But soon, he realized that the waves were passing the group further and further into the sea. A crowd gathered on the beach, not knowing how to help.
“The waves were so heavy, big and strong,” Beckton said.
The formation of the chain of
Police and paramedics arrived. A policeman jumped into the water and started swimming towards the group, but came back later. Beckton said he did not seem able to do it.
“We were there on the beach, and the police told me they were waiting for a ship so they can send it,” he said.
Then people looking down from the shore decided to take things in hand.
Jessica Simmons was one of the viewers who helped create the chain. Improvised rescuers use surfboards and surfboards to help the family to get back on the shore, he told on Facebook.
“Ultimately, we all started cheering and applauding because they were so happy we did it,” said Simmons WJHG.
They took the boys in the sand first, followed Ursrey and mother.
“As a mother, I’m supposed to protect and do everything, and I could not do that day,” Ursrey WJHG was told. “I had to help, I was eternally grateful.”
Escape from a hangover stream
Relief streams class United States rescue association as the main danger of surfing beach for all players.
Surges on beaches in the United States killed more than 100 people each year, according to the association. More than 80% of rescues for beach rescuers result from swimmers trapped in the stream.
USLA said the trick is not to go out and fight the current. Instead, swim in the direction parallel to the coast to get out of the current, and then swim to the shore.