Kansas man dies rescuing complete stranger from river: 'He didn't think twice'
A 26-year-old good Samaritan died Friday while rescuing a woman who was swept underneath the rushing waters of a Missouri river.
Jacob Farley, of Wichita, Kan., drowned near the Elk River Dam in Noel, Mo., as he tried to save a struggling woman, later identified as 21-year-old Madison Capps, whom he had never met before.
Both Farley and Capps were on float trips when the latter and other members of her group were all pulled towards the low-head dam, the Miami County Republic reports.
Capps told the outlet that while her friends were able to grab onto a log and pull themselves to shore, she was carried away with nothing but a small float to hold on to.
Farley noticed the young woman was in distress and jumped into the water to save her, and the two struggled against the churning water for about 30 minutes while emergency personnel attempted to reach them.
"I felt his hand on my back as I tried to get on my floatie after going under," Capps told the Miami County Republic. "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."
While rescuers were eventually able to reach Capps and pull her to shore with a throw rope, Farley was swept underwater. His body was later recovered, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I will never forget the sacrifice you made," Capps later wrote on Facebook. "May your soul Rest In Peace."
Farley's mother, Shelley, also took to Facebook following his death to share a heartbreaking tribute to her deceased son.
"Jake was loved, treasured and will be eternally missed," she wrote. "His short 26 years on this earth weren't enough, for him or us."
According to a GoFundMe page that was started to cover Farley's final expenses, he is survived by a 3-year-old son named Kingston.
"He didn't think twice about jumping in to save a complete stranger," the page states. "He is a true hero and died saving someone else's life with no regard for his own."
"Jacob was selfless and brave and he lived his life they [sic] same way he lost it," it adds. "Helping others."