Eighty beachgoers rushed into the water and joined hands when they heard the cries for help in Panama City, Fla., on the Gulf Coast.
A young mother of four was enjoying a day at the beach when she saw two of her boys way out in the water and screaming for help. They were caught in a deadly riptide.
She bravely swam out to their rescue, but she also got swept up in the riptide, as did the boys' grandmother. Others tried to help. All together 9 people found themselves in danger of drowning.
When the screams got louder, the chain began to form. It started in shallow water on the shore then stretched out to 300 feet in length in six feet of water.
"As a momma, I am supposed to take them in and I couldn't do it that day," Roberta Ursrey, told WJHG-TV.
Everyone in the family was rescued and exhausted after their ordeal.
Among those rescued was Steven Ursrey, 8, who spoke to reporters after.
“We got caught in the current, and well, our mom had to go in after me and my brother and the people made a human chain and pulled us out,” he told WJHG-TV.
The boys' grandmother suffered a heart attack during the ordeal and is still in the intensive care unit.