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Water Rescue: An officer rescues a 7-year-old girl trapped under a capsized boat in Louisiana

GRAND ISLE, Louisiana — A Louisiana official had just seconds when he received the call that a 7-year-old girl was trapped underwater under a capsized boat.

Sergeant Stephen Rhodes was writing a subpoena for illegal shrimp fishing off Grand Isle Beach in early May when a boat crashed in front of them.

“[The father]never expected these waves to behave the way they were,” Rhodes said.

Dario Toledo said a large wave rocked the boat, eventually throwing him and his daughter out.

Toledo’s 7-year-old daughter, Jacqueline Toledo, was trapped under the capsized boat with her life jacket.

A few Good Samaritans transported Rhodes to his boat by ATV and the race against time began.

“I got to the back of the boat where their boat was sitting right there and went in feet first,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes used his feet to grope in the darkness until he felt something soft.

“I came up and brought her with me. Her eyes were fixed and open, and there’s only a glimpse of people when their heartbeat has stopped, it’s like a light haze in the eyes,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes took Jacqueline to the poop of the boat and began two rounds of CPR.

“When I finished this second round of breathing, I saw the vision correct itself. That fuzziness that we were talking about dissipated,” Rhodes said.

When Rhodes wanted to check his pulse, he got a heart attack.

“It’s like it’s cold all night and then you see the sun come up and you feel warmth,” Rhodes said.

Jacqueline survived in the water for at least 15 minutes after the initial crash, Rhodes estimates.

The 7-year-old was flown to hospital with Rhodes at her side, but she didn’t say a word.

Toledo said Jacqueline remembered nothing more than being under the boat and then waking up.

Toledo said everyone was scared and crying. He said he thought he was going to lose his daughter when agonizing minutes passed and she still hasn’t been found.

He said he thought he was going to lose his daughter. As agonizing minutes passed and she still hasn’t been found.

Rhodes said he hadn’t seen Jacqueline since that happened, so we showed him a picture.

“It’s great to enjoy the summer, right? Alive and enjoying the summer like any little kid should,” Rhodes said. “I remember seeing a few people say, ‘She needs to do something great with her life.’ I don’t see it that way at all. She’s here and she has a chance at life. That’s what matters.”

https://abc13.com/louisiana-officer-saves-daughter-and-father-from-boat-girl-dad-saved-by-in-sgt-stephen-rhodes-of-7-year-old-jacqueline-toledo/12022062/ Water Rescue: An officer rescues a 7-year-old girl trapped under a capsized boat in Louisiana

Dais Johnston

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