The desperate rush to free the woman and her dog from the sinking vehicle was captured on video, which was later broadcast by CBS affiliate WAFB.
As the footage begins, the car is already more than halfway submerged in the brown floodwater covering much of Baton Rouge, and it was sinking fast.
As the seconds tick by, an initial attempt to break the window fails. The car is almost completely submerged when one of the men — identified by the New York Daily News as David Phung — decides to jump into the water and rip open the convertible’s fabric top.
As the car disappears entirely, precious moments pass before Phung is able pull the woman — arms first — from underneath the murky water.
As soon as her head pops above the water, she says, “I need my dog! Get my dog! Get my dog!”
A dangerous search begins as the underwater wreck appears to drift in the current.
“I can’t get the dog,” Phung replies as he frantically grasps for the animal beneath the water.
“Maybe she’s gone,” another man on the boat says.
“No, she better not be,” the desperate pet owner replies.
More than 30 seconds have passed since the car disappeared beneath the water, and it seems increasingly likely that the dog has been lost in the floodwaters.
Just then, Phung emerges from underneath the water.
“I got your dog,” he says, turning his body to reveal the small white animal in his arms.
Holding the shaken dog in one arm, Phung helps the woman back to the boat with his other hand as the footage ends.
The rescue attempt is one of thousands that have occurred amid a weekend full of tragedy. NBC News reported that more than 7,000 people have been rescued from their homes after six to 10 inches of rain fell on parts of southeast Louisiana beginning Friday.
Baton Rouge was inundated by as much as 11 inches, according to the Associated Press.
The AP reported that Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters Sunday that three people lost their lives in the flooding. He noted that many of the weekend’s rescues had occurred after people had been swept off roads and became trapped in their vehicles.
“It’s not over,” Edwards warned. “The water’s going to rise in many areas. It’s no time to let the guard down.”