NOEL, Mo. — Madison Capps of Paola is thankful to be alive, and now she wants to help the family of the man who sacrificed himself to save her.
Capps, 21, and Jacob Farley, 26, of Wichita had never met each other before, but they were both on float trips Friday, June 21, on the Elk River near Noel, Mo.
Capps was swimming at 6:41 p.m. with other members of her group when a handful of them were swept away toward the low head dam. Capps said the other members of her group were able to grab onto a log and get to shore, but she was swept away with nothing but a small floatie to hold on to.
Farley saw what was happening and jumped into the water downstream to attempt a rescue, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report.
Capps said she and Farley spent the next 30 minutes churning in the strong current and fighting to stay afloat 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 said. “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.”
Members of the Noel Fire Department arrived on scene and were able to rescue Capps with a throw rope, but Farley was swept underwater and did not resurface. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:55 p.m., according to the report.
“I will never forget the sacrifice you made,” Capps posted on Facebook after the incident. “May your soul rest in peace.”
Capps is encouraging everyone to donate to a GoFundMe page set up to assist Farley’s family. He leaves behind a 3-year-old son, and any funds left over after funeral expenses will be used to set up a trust fund for the boy’s education, according to the GoFundMe page.
The page can be found by going to www.GoFundMe.com and searching for Jacob Farley. The direct link is www.gofundme.com/final-expenses-amp-funeral-costs-for-jacob-farley.