GRAND ISLE, La. — Authorities say nine people were rescued from a capsized boat near Grand Isle on Saturday, including a 7-year-old girl who was revived after she was found trapped under the vessel.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the incident happened around 6:40 p.m. near the beach of Grand Isle. The agency said LDWF Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was on patrol on the beach when he saw a boat trying to exit the rock jetties, start to take on water and then began to capsize.
The LDWF said Rhodes rallied some good Samaritans nearby and launched his vessel, making his way to the capsized boat with eight people standing on top of the hull. Those individuals told Rhodes that a 7-year-old girl was still missing in the water.
Rhodes got some of the people from the capsized boat onto his patrol vessel, then flagged another boat to help hold his vessel while he jumped into the water to find the girl. He found her under the boat and unresponsive.
"Sgt. Rhodes then started CPR on the young girl and was able to revive her and get her breathing," the agency said.
The people from the capsized boat were taken to the Bridgeside Marina where paramedics were waiting. Those paramedics were able to stabilize the girl who was airlifted to Children's Hospital in New Orleans. The LDWF said the girl 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. “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.”