Good Samaritans Spring Into Action to Form Human Chain to Save Woman Swept Out to Sea at Florida Beach

Panama City Beach
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The group of 25 good Samaritans who banned together to save Sherry Vernon, a nurse from Ohio, proved there is strength in numbers.

A human chain formed on a Florida beach Wednesday after a woman was pulled out further to sea while trying to rescue a young girl in the ocean.

About 25 good Samaritans came to the woman's aid Wednesday on Panama City Beach, forming a human chain to rescue her after she helped save an 8-year-old girl. However, the water was so rough that it put even the rescuers' lives at risk.

Ryan Stelmachers along with his wife, risked their lives to help the woman.

“The waves are coming in towards you, hitting you and right below the surface, the water is sucking you out like a raging river,” he told Inside Edition.

Stelmachers, who is 6-foot-4 and a dad of two, says he is a strong swimmer, but despite his experience and expertise, he said it was challenging.

"You see the fear in everyone else's eyes and you think, oh my goodness this is more serious than everyone thought,” he said.

The struggle to save the wayward hero was a success and they were able to pull her to shore.

Stelmachers said he had “no regrets,” adding, “if I was in the same situation, I would do it again and I know everyone else would as well.”

The hero woman who needed saving was Sherry Vernon, who spoke to Inside Edition about how she was trying to save a little girl in distress in the ocean.

“When I got to the girl, she was panicking and she grabbed ahold of me and tried to climb up on top of me and that made me go under,” she said.

The little girl made it to safety. It was then Vernon, a nurse from Ohio, who needed a few heroes of her own.

“This water had ahold of us,” she said. “It was almost as if it had ahold of our legs and it was just holding us there and it was trying to suck us down and under the water and pull us out towards the ocean.”

Despite the ordeal, Vernon said, “If I had to do it over again, I would do the same thing. There was a lot of heroes out there.”

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