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20-Year-Old Dies After Leaping Into The Thames To Save Drowning Woman

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

20-Year-Old Dies After Leaping Into The Thames To Save Drowning Woman

Featured Image Credit: Travers Lewis / Alamy Stock Photo

An inquest as started into the death of a man who died near London Bridge after leaping into the River Thames to rescue a woman who fell from the bridge.

Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole and another man jumped into the water as onlookers begged them not to earlier this year.

Marine Police rescued the woman and the other man, while Olubunmi-Adewole sadly drowned.

The inquest into the incident heard that onlookers were begging both men not to jump into the water, but the 'kind and loving' man ran down the steps on the river's edge before undressing and entering the water shortly after midnight.

The woman was shouting 'help me, I can't swim' after she fell into the water.

Olubunmi-Adewole and Joaquin Garcia both attempted to swim the 40 metres to retrieve the woman before Olubunmi-Adewole began to struggle.

He was found dead in the water five hours later.

An inquest into his death opened at Southwark Coroner's Court on Tuesday (November 23)

Assistant Coroner Dr Julian Morris told the court that Nigerian-born Olubunmi-Adewole was on his way home from work at a central London restaurant when he was walking across the bridge after midnight.

According to a witness' account, the two men were seen running towards the edge of the bridge before shouting: 'Where are you?'

The two men ran down the steps of the bridge together and were seen talking before getting into the water. The witness reports women begging the duo not to go into the water.

Olubunmi-Adewole reportedly began calling for help himself after five to ten seconds in the water.

Police officers arrived at the scene and began to search the water for the woman and men. The woman and Garcia were rescued shortly after but police couldn't find Olubunmi-Adewole.

A police helicopter was sent in to help the search and Olubunmi-Adewole was found around 6am and pronounced dead at the scene.

Olubunmi-Adewole's father Michael Adewola and his mother Olasunkanmi Adewole said they are proud of their son for trying to save another person's life, but are devastated by his death.

Olubunmi-Adewole has been posthumously put forward for a Royal Humane Society award by City of London Police for his 'bravery and selfless actions' and an online petition to install a memorial plaque for him in Postman's Park, near St Paul's Cathedral in central London, has reached almost 150,000 signatures.

Topics: News, London

Hannah Blackiston
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