Jacob Farley saved Madison Capps from drowning in a Missouri river.

Irish American Jacob Farley is being hailed a hero after he drowned while trying to save a stranger's life as she struggled in Missouri's Elk River.

Farley and his friends were enjoying an afternoon float trip on the Elk River when a nearby group of people got into difficulty in the strong currents. Most of the group made it back to shore, but Farley sprung to action when he saw one woman, a stranger to him, struggling in the water.

The woman, named as 21-year-old Madison Capps, told The Miami County Republic: “I felt his hand on my back as I tried to get on my floatie after going under.”

“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.”

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Farley’s friend Thaaron Gillis told KWCH: "When she [Capps] fell off, he just couldn't help himself anymore. Without thinking, he jumped straight into it, knowing that it was a dangerous situation."

"He fought more to try to help her than he tried to help himself," Gillis added. "His main goal when he jumped in was to make sure that she stayed above water."

Farley and Capps struggled for about a half an hour in the strong current as the local Noel Fire Department attempted to reach them.

While the rescuers were able to pull Capps to safety using a rope, Farley tragically disappeared beneath the surface of the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:55 pm.

Capps posted on Facebook that she will never forget the sacrifice that Farley made:

I will never forget the sacrifice you made. May your soul Rest In Peace..

Publiée par Madison Loree Capps sur Dimanche 23 juin 2019

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26-year-old Farley leaves behind a 3-year-old son, Kingston. His family is now appealing for donations in a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses as well as care for young Kingston. As of Thursday afternoon, more than $30,000 has been raised.