Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A family stuck in a rip current narrowly avoided a tragedy when a crowd of strangers linked together to bring them back to land. Nine beachgoers, including two children and an elderly woman, were trapped in the current at Panama City Beach in Florida on Saturday. Bystanders on the shore saw them yelling and waving their arms, and they jumped into action. "I saw a group of people, a few at first, and then more and more, start forming a human chain," witness Rosalind Beckton told CNN. The chain grew to around 70 to 80 strangers, all holding hands and stretching to reach the trapped group. All of the swimmers made it out. Roberta Ursrey was at Panama City Beach in Florida with her family on Saturday when she realized she couldn't see her sons from the shore.

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The family and several others who had tried to help Ursrey's sons themselves, nine people in total, were stuck. The group started waving their arms in the air and yelling.

Police and paramedics arrived. One police officer jumped into the water and started swimming toward the group, but he soon came back. Beckton said it didn't seem like he could make it out.

"We stood there on the beach just watching, and the police, they said they were waiting for a boat to come so they could send it out," she said.

That was when the people watching from the shore decided to take matters into their own hands.

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Cool story!

#1 | Posted by danni at 2017-07-11 05:30 PM | Reply

This is cool, but the normal advice for getting out of a rip isn't to swim directly back to shore. It's to swim parallel to the shoreline and let the rip pull you out, then when you've escaped the rip swim to shore.

Fighting a rip is the most dangerous thing you can do. A decade ago a local high school athlete drowned in a rip. He panicked and tried to swim directly to shore, then was completely exhausted.

#2 | Posted by rcade at 2017-07-11 07:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The amount of energy wasted by screaming and waving hands could have been put to better use by swimming parallel to the shore, as suggested by Rogers.

However, this must have been an amazing site to see. It's rare so many lives are saved by the immediate collaboration of complete strangers. Human compassion and empathy is an amazing force. And these folks put it well on display today. My next beer is a cheers to these dozens of wonderful people.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-07-11 10:04 PM | Reply

"My next beer is a cheers to these dozens of wonderful people."

Absolutely! I'll lift one with you! Brilliant group think saved 9. Awesome!

#4 | Posted by danni at 2017-07-11 10:17 PM | Reply

Obviously these Panama Beach goers aren't Randians, who wouldn't recognize the value of the "other" person
so wouldn't be helping them out. It's the same with school lunch programs, health care, education... a tax cut for the wealthiest among us would be a much better idea to them.

What these people did must seem strange to them indeed.

#5 | Posted by Corky at 2017-07-11 10:56 PM | Reply

The best thing about the ocean is that it ends at the beach, and the best thing about the beach is me being on it and as far away from the water as possible.

#6 | Posted by pumpkinhead at 2017-07-11 11:00 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Especially now in So FL and Alabama as they are finding face-eating bacteria in the water. Yuuge hammerhead sharks weren't bad enough, right?

They advise people to wash their hands well when they leave the beaches now.

These folks that formed the human chain were really brave... OK, some were prolly just really drunk, but still.

#7 | Posted by Corky at 2017-07-11 11:20 PM | Reply

#7

They don't advise that in San Diego even after the Tijuana river over flows. What you got going on in them Florida waters is intense?

#8 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-07-11 11:55 PM | Reply

Eight Diseases To Watch Out For At the Beach
Forget sharks: These potentially deadly pathogens and parasites can lurk in sand and sea

"Flesh Eating" Bacteria

Vibrio vulnificus is a pretty gnarly microbe. Eating raw oysters that harbor V. vulnificus results in nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain. For swimmers with open wounds, V. vulnificus infections can break down skin and cause ulceration, leading to its movie-monster moniker. Early treatment with antibiotics improves patients' chances, but severe cases sometimes require amputation.

Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2017-07-12 12:14 AM | Reply

Yeah I know but people are more filthy. Human chain to save a family, damn I boil my change.
I hope when the time comes I will be ready.

Heroes.

I've stepped up to the plate a couple times but nothing worth bragging about.

#10 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-07-12 01:04 AM | Reply

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If caught in a rip current, the best course of action is to swin parallel to the shore until you are free of the rip current, then swim to shore.

#11 | Posted by 726 at 2017-07-12 07:42 AM | Reply

Nice story. Thanks for posting.

#12 | Posted by cbob at 2017-07-12 09:35 AM | Reply

I live here. Cool story, meh. First RCADE is correct and every damn hotel room, condo, lobby and many billboards have NUMEROUS signs explaining rip currents and what to do if you are caught in one. Second and even more advertised is we have a beach flag warning system and yellow flags were flying. Yellow flags were flying high up and down the beaches when this happened. Which means and is explained everywhere MEDIUM HAZARD - Moderate Surf and/or Strong Currents.

It's a miracle no one died.

#13 | Posted by gracieamazed at 2017-07-12 09:50 AM | Reply

What I don't get about rip currents is why I never see one. I've been to the beach here hundreds of times in the two decades I've lived here. I would've thought by now that I spotted one. They form all the time.

#14 | Posted by rcade at 2017-07-12 10:10 AM | Reply

Because you are at an even eye level with the water. Typically they are behind the first set of breaking waves. You can see them if you are on an elevated bar deck, second floor hotel room, etc. At least that is what I have discovered over the years.

#15 | Posted by gracieamazed at 2017-07-12 10:25 AM | Reply

Cade,
You've probably have seen them and been in them, just weaker ones.
We get them in Lake Erie and people drown in my neck of the woods due to them every year.
As you mentioned, always swim parallel to the shore, or ride it out and then swim parallel to the shore and in.
People panic, and then poop out.

#16 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2017-07-12 01:06 PM | Reply

The best advice for dealing with a rip current is as follows:

1. Always swim with a buddy.

2. When caught in a rip, keep your buddy's head above water and strangle them. This will keep some air in their lungs.

3. Use your buddy's dead, but air-filled body as a flotation device to safely ride out the rip. Additionally, it canbe used to distract any sharks in the area.

4. Once safely beyond the rip, abandon the body at sea and swim safely to shore.

#17 | Posted by RevDarko at 2017-07-13 12:28 PM | Reply

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