Together, these beachgoers saved the day.
There was no lifeguard on duty at the sunny Florida beach when two young boys suddenly found themselves caught in a dangerous rip current.
Stephen and Noah Ursrey, 8 and 11 years old, cried out for help. Roberta, the boys' mother, along with three other relatives, swam out to save them, only to find themselves swept into the same rip current, desperately in need of a rescue.
If it weren't for the quick thinking of horrified beachgoers watching from land, the entire family faced almost certain doom.
[rebelmouse-image 19476316 dam="1" original_size="750x418" caption="Stephen and Noah Ursrey. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube." expand=1]Stephen and Noah Ursrey. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube.
No single person could successfully pull off this type of rescue. It took a small army.
Nearly 80 people rushed to create a human chain from the shore to where the Ursreys were stuck. When the chain reached the family, the stranded swimmers were passed one-by-one down the chain until they made it safely back to shore.
[rebelmouse-image 19476317 dam="1" original_size="750x370" caption="Beachgoers stage a successful rescue operation. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube." expand=1]Beachgoers stage a successful rescue operation. Image from CBS Evening News/YouTube.
This is humanity truly at its best: people going out of their way to help other people because it's the right thing to do.
In this moment, it didn't matter what anyone's politics were, what god they worshiped, where they were from, what language they spoke, what their gender was, or who they loved. Those differences certainly existed (and differences are good, wonderful things), but when lives were on the line, those things didn't matter. People who joined forces to build a human chain out into the ocean because other people needed help.
When we work together toward a common goal, we are stronger than we are working apart. This is not a new idea (stories of it have been around for thousands of years), but it's always worth remembering just how true it is.
Thanks to those Florida beachgoers for reminding the world just how great humanity can be.