How to Form a Dependable Human Chain for a Beach Rescue

Lifeguards recommend forming a human chain only as a last resort.

The dramatic video of a human chain that saved a family caught in a terrifying riptide in Florida has captivated the nation but doing one can be incredibly dangerous.

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Lifeguards in Long Beach, NY, in Long Island say there's a right way and a wrong way form a human chain but only if it's your only option.

If you're forced to save someone using a human chain, you want make sure you keep your tallest, strongest people farthest out into the ocean. Line up from tallest to shortest so that everyone is in waist deep water and their feet are stable on the sand.

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If inexperienced swimmers want to help, they should join the chain while standing on the beach. Once the victim is reached, the chain should pull the distressed swimmer to shore.

"What made it dangerous is that you don’t know who is there,” a lifeguard told Inside Edition. “You are grabbing people from all different areas of the beach, you don’t know their qualifications, how good or how bad of a swimmer they are. If you lose one link in that chain, you could end up with 15 more victims.

"Don’t panic. If you think you are an experienced swimmer in the lake or in the pool, ocean swimming is different. With ocean swimming being different just hang out and wait for someone to come get you." 

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