Proving there’s still a fair bit of good left in humanity, some 80 beachgoers, including several holidaymakers, formed a ‘human chain’ in Miami over the weekend to help save a family caught in a rip.

Jessica Mae Simmons rocked up to Florida’s popular tourist beach, Panama City Beach, with her partner and his extended family for a relaxing dinner by the shore when she noticed everyone staring out to sea.

Initially, she assumed, as many would, a shark had caught everyone’s attention until she saw a police truck parked on the beach, indicating that someone had drowned.

She ran over to the commotion to get a closer look and that’s when she was really caught off guard – people had started holding hands and lining up to form a ‘human chain’ out to sea to help those in need.

“To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!”

Jessica Mae Simmons

“People who didn’t even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that.”

Miami Florida

As an experienced swimmer, Simmons immediately sprung into action to swim past the 50 people in the ‘chain’ and straight to those in need, which turned out to be nine adults (a mother, grandmother, older son and another couple) as well as two small children.

The elders in the group told Simmons to save the children first, so she placed them on a boogie board – a young boy had handed it to her earlier on the beach – and told the mother to hang on. Once she swam through the tide to ‘the chain’ individuals passed the board down the line until they were able to get to shore.

Simmons then went back to help the grandmother who “was so out of it” and kept saying: “let me go, just let me die and save yourself”.

With the help of the woman’s son, Simmons’ partner, Derek, and a surfer who also came out to help, they were able to pull her up on the surfboard and drag her to land.

“After 30 mins of us pulling them, we got the grandmother, the Chinese couple and the son to the human chain, who pulled them into shore.”

Jessica Mae Simmons

“There was one lady left who had the boggie board. At this time, the EMT finally arrived and ran out into the water to get her.

“At the end when we got the last person in, our chain grew to 70 strangers holding hand in hand to save these people.”

Simmons said if they didn’t have the surfboard, the boggie boards and the human chain, there would have been 11 lives lost that day.

“What really got me was how a entire BEACH jumped into action to save these people.”

Jessica Mae Simmons

“People who COULDN’T even swim was part of that human chain. They wanted to help that bad.”

Read Simmons’ full story below:

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