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Hero officer rescues 9 from capsized boat, including 7-year-old

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officer rescued nine people including a 7-year-old girl after a boat capsized near the beach of Grand Isle, La. 

Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was on patrol in Jefferson Parish Saturday at approximately 6:40 p.m. when he noticed a boat taking on water after it was trying to exit rock jetties, the LDWF said in a press release. Rhodes recruited passerby, who took him in an ATV to his truck where he was able to get his patrol vessel. He then took the vessel out to the capsized boat.

Upon arrival at the scene, Rhodes found eight people on the boat’s hull and was soon able to get several of them onto his boat. 

That was when they told him about the girl in the water. Rhodes then jumped in, found her unresponsive under the capsized boat, and brought her out, while another boat held his.

Rhodes then performed CPR on the girl and revived her.

The rescued individuals were taken to the Bridgeside Marina, where paramedics were there to treat them. They stabilized the child, who was then taken via airlift to the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. The agency said she is expected to fully recover.

“We are extremely proud of the actions of Sgt. Rhodes. He did an exceptional job of using good judgment and his training to help save the life of this young girl and the other occupants in the capsized vessel,” LDWF Col. Chad Hebert said in a statement. “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.” 

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