Louisiana wildlife agent revives 7-year-old, rescues 9 from capsized boat

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — An agent with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is credited with saving nine lives, including that of a little girl trapped under a capsized boat.

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In a news release, the LDWF said Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was on patrol in Grand Isle when he saw a boat take on water and capsize. Good Samaritans in an all-terrain vehicle picked up Rhodes and took him to his boat, helping him to launch it into the water.

When Rhodes got to the capsized boat, there were eight people on top of the hull, but those people told him a 7-year-old girl was still missing in the water.

Once Rhodes managed to get the eight people from the hull safely onto his vessel, Rhodes jumped into the water to search for the 7-year-old, who he found underneath the capsized boat. She was unresponsive when Rhodes pulled her onto his boat, so he started CPR and was able to revive her.

“We are extremely proud of the actions of Sgt. Rhodes. He did an exceptional job of using good judgement and his training to help save the life of this young girl and the other occupants in the capsized vessel,” Col. Chad Hebert, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “We would also like to thank all of the good Samaritans that assisted in this successful rescue. Sgt. Rhodes was on patrol by himself and these good Samaritans helped him perform this rescue faster. That time probably made it possible to resuscitate the young girl.”

The child was flown to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, where she is expected to make a full recovery, KLFY reported.