A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agent has heroically rescued a girl trapped under a capsized boat and saved eight other people stuck on the hull near the beach of Grand Isle.

Sgt. Stephen Rhodes believes he was in the right place at the right time when he was patrolling the coast near Timbalier Bay late Saturday afternoon.

"I had no intention of even being on Grand Isle on that day," he told WWL.

Rhodes noticed a boat exiting the rock jetties and starting to take on water at around 6:40 p.m.

"I could see that the boat had overturned with people starting to climb up onto the hull of the boat," Rhodes told the outlet. "At that point, I knew it was game on."

With the help of some Good Samaritans, Rhodes got to his patrol car and took his boat out into the water. The officer admitted these individuals helped him save a "tremendous" amount of time.

When Rhodes got to the capsized vessel, he found the eight people trapped on the hull and was told a 7-year-old girl was underwater beneath the capsized boat.

He flagged down another boat to keep his vessel in place while he jumped in to find the child, WDSU News reported.

According to Rhodes, one of the girl's brothers said she was wearing a life jacket. "And instantly I knew that the only place for this little girl to be would be under the vessel," Rhodes told WWL. "She had to be trapped under the vessel."

The officer knew he couldn't safely swim under the capsized vessel to find the child, so he grabbed onto the side, felt his way around and dove underneath when he thought he felt the girl.

"I took a couple of deep breaths, dove underneath the boat... and grabbed hold of her and part of her PFD, and pulled her out with me," he went on to say. "...I could see that she was gone. Her eyes were open, but they were not focused."

The officer started CPR on the girl and managed to revive her before she was taken to Bridgeside Marina, where paramedics were waiting for them.

"When you see a life come back... there aren't words," Rhodes added. "It's humbling."

Col. Chad Hebert, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, praised Rhodes for his brave efforts.

"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," Hebert said in the department's statement posted on Facebook. "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."

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Bernhard_Staerck