Beachgoers at Florida’s Panama City Beach created a human chain to save a struggling woman from rough surf on April 14.
The woman had gone into the water to help rescue a young girl who was screaming for help after getting caught in the current, according to Loredana Lupei, who recorded the video.
Lupei told Storyful she was also involved in the group effort to save the girl – whom she estimated to be around eight years old – grabbing her from another swimmer and safely bringing her to shore.
Once she and the child got to shore, the child immediately ran off, Lupei said.
Lupei told Storyful she then saw that a woman who went in to save the girl was struggling. She said she asked a couple of men with a raft to rescue the woman, but soon they too were struggling.
At that point the beachgoers decided to make the chain, Lupei told Storyful. “People came from all over the beach and held hands in the water. It was really powerful,” she said.
The video shows a group of people linking arms and cheering after successfully bringing the woman back to shore.
Local news outlet WMBB reported that single red flags were flying, indicating dangerous currents. The flags were later changed to double red, closing the water to the public. Beach safety officials told the local news outlet that although the human chain was successful in this instance, they discourage the practice as it could lead to more people being dragged out. Credit: Loredana Lupei via Storyful