Hero, 20, died jumping into Thames river after drowning woman shouted ‘save me’

Tragic Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole dived into the River Thames in a bid to save the woman at around midnight back in April but he lost his life after being found by rescuers six hours later

Friends of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole
Brave Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, known to friends and family as Jimi, had to act after hearing the screams, an inquest heard

A man who gave up his life to save a woman acted after hearing her desperate cries from the banks of the River Thames.

An inquest has opened into the death of Folajimi “Jimi” Olubunmi-Adewole, whose body was found six hours after he and a friend jumped in to rescue her.

He was dubbed a hero by his heartbroken family following the tragedy last April.

The 20-year-old was on his way home from work at a central London restaurant when he and another man, Joaquin Garcia, entered the water at around midnight.

The Coastguard and the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit rescued the woman and Mr Garcia, but could not locate Mr Olubunmi-Adewole.

Tributes were left at the spot where the 20-year-old jumped in to save the woman


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

On Tuesday, an inquest heard that an eyewitness saw the two men jump into the river near London Bridge in an attempt to save a woman.

She could be heard shouting “Help me, help me, I can’t swim.”

The witness recalled seeing the pair run down steps to the river bank before partially undressing and jumping in.

Reading the evidence at Inner London Coroner’s Court, assistant coroner Dr Julian Morris said: “They then saw one man jump in and swim out to the girl and appeared to be a good swimmer.

His friends and family let off balloons in a park together to remember him


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

“The second male jumped some five to 10 seconds after and then began asking for assistance himself.”

Police arrived shortly afterwards and rescued Mr Garcia man and the woman, but Mr Olubunmi-Adewole was found dead almost six hours later, the inquest heard.

He was posthumously put forward for a Royal Humane Society award by City of London Police for his “bravery and selfless actions”.

An online petition to install a memorial plaque for Mr Olubunmi-Adewole in Postman’s Park, near St Paul’s Cathedral in central London, has reached almost 150,000 signatures.

Jimi’s devastated friend Bernard Kosia called him a true hero for his actions



Michael Adewola, 63, and mum Olasunkanmi Adewole, 54, said they were heartbroken by their son’s death although they were proud of him for trying to save the woman’s life.

Mr Adewola told The Sun earlier this year: “He is a hero, and always will be, I can’t bring him back but I want him to be remembered forever for what he did, it was just like him to want to always try and help others.

“Jimi was a very nice, kind young man, he was the heart of our family… He would help anyone that needed it.

“I don’t think I would be able to do it, I might be able to call the police, but I don’t know if I could do it, but this was Jimi, you can’t even describe the kind of heart he had.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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