Here Is Something Nice

Katie Mettler at the Washington Post: A Riptide Swept Away a Florida Family — Then Beachgoers Formed a Human Chain.
Six members of a single family — four adults and two young boys — and four other swimmers had been swept away by a powerful and deceptive riptide churning below the water's surface.

...There was no lifeguard on duty, and law enforcement on the scene had opted to wait for a rescue boat. People on the beach had no rescue equipment, only boogie boards, surf boards and their arms and legs.

"Form a human chain!" they started shouting.

...By then, Ursrey and the other eight people stranded with her had already been in the water for nearly 20 minutes, fighting for their lives.

...Tabatha Monroe and her wife, Brittany, in Panama City for a birthday getaway, were the first two to hear the boys' panicked cries for help. The couple had just gone into the water when they saw the boys far from shore. They swam over and grabbed hold of their boogie boards.

But when they tried towing them back to shore, the women couldn't break free of the current. ...So much water went up Tabatha Monroe's nose that she was sure she would drown, she told The Post.

"I was exhausted," she said.

On shore, the human chain began forming, first with just five volunteers, then 15, then dozens more as the rescue mission grew more desperate.

...At one point, the 67-year-old woman told the rescuers "to just let her go" and save themselves. Instead, Ursrey's husband and nephew held Franz's body up as they struggled to keep their own heads above water.

"That's when the chain got the biggest," Ursrey said. "They linked up wrists, legs, arms. If they were there, they were helping."

Nearly an hour after they first started struggling, just as the sun prepared to set, all 10 of the stranded swimmers were safely back on shore.

The entire beach began to applaud.
There is much more of this amazing story, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

One of the women who was involved in the rescue said in a Facebook post about the incident: "To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!! 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. ... At the end when we got the last person in, our chain grew to 70 strangers holding hand in hand to save these people."

It is amazing. And if there were any fuckwads standing on the beach screaming at people in need of help, "You shouldn't have gone in the water if you aren't able to save yourselves from drowning!" or "Only moochers depend on other people to save their lives when they're having a heart attack in the ocean!" or "Let the market save you!", we haven't heard a damn thing about it.

Because history will only remember the people who stood on the beach and formed a chain to help their fellow humans, and will forget anyone whose sneering judgment overwhelmed their compassion.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus