Good Samaritan Jacob Farley, 26, died on Friday and rescued Madison Capps, 21, who made a flight over the River Elk in Noel, Missouri.
The incident happened around 6.40 p.m.
Capps was unexpectedly swept away in the powerful stream of the river and caught in the water.
Farley, who was on the same trip with friends, was also caught in the current, but managed to reach the coast.
Jacob Farley (photo) is survived by his three-year-old son (left) after rescuing a woman from drowning in the Elk River
However, noticing Capps struggled, the father-of-one ducked back into the water to keep her afloat.
The two fought against the water for 30 minutes before a rescue team arrived.
While Capps was brought to safety, Farley was pulled and drowned.
& # 39; I have never been afraid of the water, but now it will be different for the rest of my life & # 39 ;, Capps said to Fox 43. & # 39; I don't think I'll ever forget that and what he (Farley) did for me. & # 39;
Capps said she does a float trip most summers and attends this year's annual swim trip with about a dozen people, including her boyfriend.
While they were wading in the water with her boyfriend, the couple became frightened when they could no longer feel the bottom.
& # 39; My friend can't swim, so we just wanted to go where we could touch, & # 39; she said. & # 39; And when we got there, it just fell in a little and he started to panic. & # 39;
In an attempt to help him, Capps pushed him back to the coast. Her friend got to safety by grabbing a float, but several members of the group got caught in the current.
& # 39; Everyone has caught a tree trunk or tree in the water and they were able to get out, & # 39; said Capps. & # 39; I was the only one who was sucked away. & # 39;
Although Farley and Capps had never met, he jumped back to help after seeing her struggle.
Thaaron Gillis, Farley's friend, told KWCH 12, & # 39; When she fell, he just couldn't help himself anymore. Without thinking about it, he jumped right into it, knowing it was a dangerous situation. & # 39;
Capps remembers being pulled under water. When she was again floating on the floor, Farley was standing next to her.
& # 39; I looked at him and I asked him: & # 39; What must we do? & # 39; Capps told KWCH 12.
& # 39; He said: & # 39; I don't know & # 39; but he stayed there with me and he kept talking to me and every time I went down and rose again I felt his hand on my back. & # 39;
They grabbed a float and threw the two around in the water and got caught in floating speakers with a rope attached.
The rope wrapped six times around Capps' waist and wound around Farley's ankle.
& # 39; When I got it (the rope), he said something was wrapped around his leg. And I told him to finish it, and he said he couldn't do it. So we just sat there together until help came. & # 39;
Madison Capps remembers Farley's sacrifice and hopes to make him proud by living her life as well as possible
Eventually a rescue team from the Missouri State Highway Patrol came to get them out of the river. Capps was the first to be rescued and grabbed a rope when the MSHP crew brought her to safety.
When Capps turned around, Farley was not there.
& # 39; I feel guilty, & # 39; Capps said to Fox 43, & # 39; because if we hadn't been there, he wouldn't have jumped into it. But he was so brave – and selfless. & # 39;
The Elk River in Noel, Missouri, covers 35 miles and is visited annually by tourists
Capps says she will never forget Farley & # 39; s sacrifice and wants to continue to live her life to make him proud.
& # 39; He was a stranger, & # 39; said Capps. & # 39; He didn't know me. He came to jump and still save. & # 39;
Gillis remembers his friend as a loving father and a hard worker.
Jacob Farley saved Madison Capps by keeping her alive for 30 minutes
& # 39; He fought more to help her than he tried to help himself & # 39 ;, Gillis told KWCH12. & # 39; His main goal when he jumped in was to make sure she stayed above the surface. & # 39;
Capps invents the event and is grateful for the courage and strength of Farley.
& # 39; I am so grateful, & # 39; said Capps, & # 39; because I don't know if I would sustain it if he wasn't with me. & # 39;
Farley's family is happy that Capps is fine.
His mother said to Ozark First: & # 39; I talked to him that morning and I have to tell him that I love him and am careful. & # 39;
Farley & # 39; s funeral is scheduled for Saturday and a GoFundMe page is available to help his family cover funeral expenses.
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