A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent with the help of some good Samaritans successfully rescued nine people after their boat capsized in Jefferson Parish on May 7.

LDWF Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was on patrol on the beach of Grand Isle with his patrol vessel in tow around 6:40 p.m.  He observed a vessel trying to exit the rock jetties and start to take on water before capsizing.

Sgt. Rhodes was picked up by some good Samaritans in an ATV to transport him to his truck to launch his vessel.  The same good Samaritans helped him launch his vessel.  Sgt. Rhodes made his way to the capsized vessel that had eight people on top of the hull.  Those people notified Sgt. Rhodes about a missing 7-year-old girl still in the water.

Sgt. Rhodes was able to get the people from the capsized vessel onto his patrol vessel.  He then flagged down another boat to help hold his vessel in place so he could jump in the water to look for the young girl.

Sgt. Rhodes jumped in the water and located the young girl under the capsized vessel.  He got her onto his vessel and she was unresponsive.  Sgt. Rhodes then started CPR on the young girl and was able to revive her and get her breathing.

Sgt. Rhodes then transported the people from the capsized vessel to the Bridgeside Marina where EMS was waiting.  The EMS crew stabilized the young girl and she was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans where she is expected to make a full recovery.

“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,” said Col. Chad Hebert, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “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 saved probably made it possible to resuscitate the young girl.”