Even if you're a competent swimmer, getting stuck in a rip can be a difficult experience. So, you can imagine the terror that mum, Roberta Ursrey, experienced when she saw her two sons getting caught up in the ocean in Florida.

The 34-year-old had just got out of the water herself, and heard Stephen, eight, and Noah, 11, screaming for help. She dived into the water, along with her husband, her mother and nephews to help the two young boys.

But once they swam to Noah and Stephen, they also became stuck in the rip.

Family stuck in rip

Credit: Facebook/Rosalind Beckton

Credit: WJHG-TV

People standing along the shoreline noticed the danger they were in and, one by one, bystanders started swimming to the group. Dozens of people formed a human chain until it ran from the shore to Roberta's family.

Eventually everyone was pulled to safety.

One of the people who helped, Derek Simmons, told The Guardian: "If you know about ants, you know when one's in trouble they form a chain to help it. My theory was let's get enough people, we'll get out there and pull them in and everybody can finish having a good rest of the evening."

"It was a wave of humanity that brings some things back into focus, that maybe we haven't lost all hope in this world."

Rosalind Beckton witnessed the terrifying ordeal and posted on Facebook: "Today we witnessed some real heroes and it wasn't the guy's in uniform. It was people out on the beach that had the care and heart to risk their lives to save someone.

"These people joined hands and pulled out [eight people] one by one who [were] stuck in a rip current."

Human chain to rescue family

Credit: Facebook/Rosalind Beckton

Roberta's mother, Barbara, suffered a heart attack during the ordeal and was rushed to hospital. Luckily, doctors managed to bring her back to life and she's recovering in intensive care. Roberta has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the hospital bill.

Roberta says on the page: "She has some heart and stomach issues along with some pneumonia the doctors are having to deal with. So, she is stable but she will remain in the hospital for a while they said. Also, once she comes home she will have to have home health and physical therapy."

Roberta has thanked everyone involved in the dramatic rescue, saying she 'owes her life and her family's life to them'.

What an amazing display of human strength and compassion.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Rosalind Beckton​

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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