Nine of the 80 people whose lives are forever linked to the remarkable rescue recently got together to meet the Ursrey family.
The drama unfolded during a beautiful beach day in Panama City, Fla. It was 6 p.m. and all of the lifeguards had gone home for the day.
Roberta Ursrey found herself being swept away in a riptide, along with her two young sons.
“I tried and tried and tried to swim out against it, behind it, every which way I could and I could not swim out of it, it was so strong,” she told Inside Edition.
She told the people that saved her and her family: "I can't thank you enough."
Her 11-year-old son, Noah, thought it was the end for him.
“I was scared because the riptide was so strong we couldn't even swim to shore,” he said.
The boys' grandmother suffered a heart attack during the ordeal and remains in intensive care.
Jessica Simmons said she was enjoying a picnic on the beach when she saw the family in crisis.
Read: Be Safe by the Pool: What to Remember If You See Someone Drowning
“My husband and a group of guys, they were like, 'Well, let's just make a chain,” she recalled.
The family says they are eternally grateful to the brave souls who joined in, especially Jessica.
“Without her, I wouldn't be here, so yeah, she's my hero,” Roberta said.
The family has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her mother's medical expenses. Anyone interested making a donation can do so by clicking here.