A Kansas man died when he tried to rescue a woman caught in a Missouri river.
Jacob Farley, 26, drowned June 21 while trying to rescue a female swimmer near the Elk River Dam at Noel, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in an incident report.
The woman had been swept underwater at the dam, according to the patrol report. Farley jumped into the river downstream in an attempt to rescue her.
Noel firefighters arrived at the scene and got the women out with a throw rope. Farley, however, did not make it.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up shortly after Farley’s death. The fundraising campaign named “Final expenses & funeral costs for Jacob Farley” discloses more details about the incident.
“He was on a float trip in Noel, MO and was on the bank of the river,” reads the fundraiser’s description. “Jacob saw a woman, a complete stranger, drowning at the dam area and jumped in the water to save her.”
“The current made it impossible for them to escape. They were trapped in a hydraulic current at the base of the dam. The woman had a small float and Jacob kept pushing the woman back on the float to keep her head above water.”
When the firefighters arrived, Farley “selflessly let the woman take the rope,” according to the fundraiser’s description. “He didn’t think twice about jumping in to save a complete stranger. He is a true hero and died saving someone else’s life with no regard for his own.”
21-year-old Madison Capps, the swimmer rescued by Farley, told the Miami County Republic that Farley spent about 30 minutes trying to stay afloat until the responders arrived.
“I felt his hand on my back as I tried to get on my floatie after going under,” said Capps. “Just having him be there next to me meant a lot. Without him there, I don’t think I would have been able to hold on as long as I did.”
“He was a stranger,” Capps told Fox 4. “He didn’t know me. He came to jump and save me anyways.”
Capps said she felt guilty because Farley wouldn’t have jumped in if she hadn’t been down there. “But he was so brave—and selfless.”
Capps and her family are going to attend Farley’s funeral to honor his sacrifice and thank his family, reported Fox 4.
A young father, Jacob leaves behind a 3-year-old son, Kingston, according to the GoFundMe campaign, which had raised more than $11,000 at the time of this publication.