The family of six as well as four other swimmers were rescued by beachgoers in Panama City, Florida
A family of six as well as four other swimmers met with misfortune while swimming at a beach in Panama City, Florida when a powerful rip current tore the swimmers deeper out to sea.
Roberta Ursey, 34, entered the water to rescue her two sons (aged 11 and 8) who also got caught in the brutal current.
Ursey’s husband Albert, 31, swiftly followed once he saw his wife struggling to reach their sons. Her mother Barbara, 68, and nephew Justin, 28, followed into the ocean.
As soon as beachgoers saw the family struggling, they formed a human chain to pull them out of the ocean and back to shore.
Roberta stated of the incident: “I saw that they [the boys] had left their boogie boards in the water. All of a sudden they were screaming and crying and calling me. I just thought ‘Oh my God,’ and I just ran in.
“Every time I tried to get to them, I kept getting sucked back. It was like Mother Nature was playing tug-o-war with us.”
Roberta concluded, “I honestly thought I was going to die that day, and my boys were going to come with me.”
Ursey family owes their lives to the kindness and swift action of the beachgoers
Roberta said of the rescue: “All those people on the beach… they risked their lives to save me and my family. I’m forever grateful for it.”
Roberta’s mother Barbara has been hospitalised with a chest infection.
“She just swallowed so much water. When I woke up, I heard someone say she was having a heart-attack.”
Roberta says despite the experience, she hopes to “eventually” go back. “We’re going to be extra cautious of the water in the future. I am not going to let it beat me like that.”