What started out as a fun-filled day at the beach in Panama City, Florida, turned out to be a near death experience for the Ursrey family. The family’s two youngest sons got caught in a rip current that stranded them far out in the water. As soon as the family noticed that the boys were in distress, they went out to get them. Instead of getting them to safety, though, the rest of the family got caught in the current as well and were just as stranded as the young boys. With more and more people caught in the current, an act of human kindness and bravery be the one to keep them alive.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes.
Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer. Panicked swimmers often try to counter a rip current by swimming straight back to shore—putting themselves at risk of drowning because of fatigue. Lifeguards rescue tens of thousands of people from rip currents in the U.S. every year, but it is estimated that 100 people are killed by rip currents annually. If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it! Swim parallel to the shore and swim back to land at an angle. While the terms are ofter confused, rip currents are different than rip tides. A rip tide is a specific type of current associated with the swift movement of tidal water through inlets and the mouths of estuaries, embayments, and harbors.”
This ordeal was a lesson for the Ursrey family and hopefully to many readers out there who underestimate the power of the water.
[post_page_title]The Ursrey family[/post_page_title]
Roberta Ursrey and her family, her husband, three children, as well as her mother and nephew, were all at Panama City Beach on Saturday July 8th. It was in the early evening hours that Roberta’s youngest sons, Noah, 11 years old, and Stephen, 8 years old, were in the warm water. The boys were caught in a rip current that pulled them out some 100 yards into the Gulf of Mexico.