There are many times when those of us who enjoy the outdoors get a little antsy when we see an agent from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries approach us out in the field or on the water. Sure, we're law-abiding citizens but, at least for me, I always have it in the back of my mind I might have forgotten to renew a license or I had a sticker fall off. But almost every encounter I have ever had with LDWF personnel, it's been a good encounter.

LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
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A group of boaters near Grand Isle are certainly thanking their lucky stars that an LDWF agent happened to be patrolling near them on Saturday. According to the Department of Wildlife website, Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was on patrol near Grand Isle when he noticed a vessel attempting to exit the rock jetties. The manuver was causing the vessel to take on water.

By the time Sgt Rhodes and some good Samaritans arrived on the scene the vessel had capsized. Eight of the people from the boat had managed to climb on top of the hull another person, a seven-year-old girl was reportedly trapped beneath the vessel.

10 Tampa Bay via YouTube
10 Tampa Bay via YouTube
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The eight victims were moved from the top of the capsized craft into Sgt Rhodes' patrol boat. Sgt. Rhodes then instructed those assisting him to help steady the capsized vessel so he could take a dive into the water to see if he could find the missing girl.

As luck would have it, she was found under the capsized vessel. She was unresponsive but Sgt Rhodes was able to perform CPR and help her resume breathing. The entire party was then transported to a nearby marina where EMS and First Responders were waiting.

LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
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First Responders were able to stabilize the condition of the young girl and she was airlifted to a hospital in New Orleans where she is expected to make a full recovery. 

Colonel Chad Hebert of LDWF had this to say about the actions of Sgt. Stephen Rhodes and the Good Samaritans who assisted in this rescue.

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.

LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
LAWildlifeFish via YouTube
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Colonel Rhodes went on to share these thoughts about those who assisted Sgt Rhodes and how important their quick action was in making the outcome of this incident a happy one and not a tragedy.

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.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife suggests that all boaters take a boater safety education course and that you always have your personal flotation device on whenever you're on the water.  And if you're seeking more fun in the water, give these places a try.

Places to Go Tubing in Louisiana

When it's summertime in Louisiana and you need to be outside, in the water is where it's at. And while our water isn't exactly crystal clear, it still is nice to take a dip in sometimes. Here are a few of the spots around the state where you can get in the water and enjoy a leisure tubing trip down a river or creek.