Dozens of strangers came together to rescue a group of swimmers in Panama City Beach, Florida. They formed a human chain to get the swimmers out of a rip current over the weekend.
On Tuesday, 12News spoke to a Vidor lifeguard whether a human chain is a good idea for such an emergency.
“It’s definitely not the first lifesaving technique. The rule of thumb is to not put others in dangers” said Daniel Thompson.
Thompson, who has been a lifeguard for 10 years and is also an educator, explains rip currents can catch swimmers by surprise.
“Rip currents can be anywhere from 10 to 200 feet wide so if all possible, if you see the warning signs, choppy water, dark color, its best to not even enter the water.” Thompson said.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rip currents at U.S. beaches kill over 100 people each year.
Thompson also explained to 12News how to get out of a rip current if you’re at the beach.
“When you swim out of the current, swim parallel to the shore and as soon as you’re out of the current, swim diagonally towards shore.” He said.
All eight swimmers stuck in the rip current made it out alive.