HomeNewsBoater Comes to Couple’s Aid After Jet Ski Accident in Missouri

Boater Comes to Couple’s Aid After Jet Ski Accident in Missouri

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Sergei KonkovTASS via Getty Images)

A boater helped rescue a Missouri couple after a jet ski accident this past Saturday.

Paul Donnelly found an unconscious Dennis Knox after his wife, Tracy, called for help at Kansas City’s Longview Lake. The man helped resuscitate Knox and get the couple back to shore this past Saturday.

The accident and the rescue happened so quickly that both Donnelly and Knox didn’t even catch each other’s names.

Family Thankful for Boater’s Effort

The Knoxes were riding along on a jet ski when an accident threw them into the lake. 

Dennis Knox, 51, was knocked unconscious. According to KCTV, Knox later found out he had a fractured sternum and broke nearly all of his ribs. 

Amazingly, Donnelly said he had no CPR training. The Kansas City Art Institute professor said he remembered videos of chest compressions. The man realized he needed to try anything to rescue Dennis Knox in the spur of the moment. He pulled the man on his boat and started with CPR.

Donnelly helped revive Knox as other boaters arrived during the traumatic experience.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t know I was capable,” Donnelly said. “I’m just glad I was able to be there at the right place at the right time.”

In another report, daughter Jordan Knox told KCTV that she was at the marina with her 2-year-old daughter and heard the commotion, not thinking her father was involved.

“I think it’s hitting him pretty hard,” Jordan Knox said days after the accident. “Because he really, he thought he was going to die.” 

Jordan Knox said that her father said he remembers looking down in the water, and then he “couldn’t move his arms to flip over.” She said he remembers taking one last breath before the rescue.

Knox Family Searches For Stranger

By Wednesday, Donnelly found the Knox family, of Overland Park, through the internet and a KCTV reporter. Jordan Knox and Donnelly texted back and forth before meeting up.

After EMT officials took over, everyone cleared the area. Donnelly went his own way with others while the Knox family went to the hospital.

Through the TV station’s help, the Knox family worked to identify Donnelly’s dog and boat. Jordan Knox said the family wanted to find Donnelly because “this man saved my dad’s life.”

Donnelly said he was thinking about the family, hoping for closure with an in-person meeting in a few weeks. According to KCTV, Jordan Knox said her dad is healing but in a lot of pain.

“For everyone just to kind of jump together and work as a team to help them out, that’s amazing to me,” Jordan Knox said.