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Brave Last Words Of Hero Who Died Jumping Into River Thames To Save Woman

Brave Last Words Of Hero Who Died Jumping Into River Thames To Save Woman

The 20-year-old tragically died and his courage has been described as 'quite astonishing'

The last words of a young man who died trying to save a woman who fell in the River Thames have been shared at an inquest into his death.

Folajimi 'Jimi' Olubunmi-Adewole was on his way home from work at a restaurant when he and Joaquin Garcia entered the water near London Bridge at around midnight on 24 April last year.

The Coastguard and the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit rescued the woman and Garcia, but could not locate 20-year-old Olubunmi-Adewole.

He died as a result of drowning, with no other 'significant conditions' found to have impaired him, the inquest at Inner London Coroner's Court heard earlier today (Tuesday 28 June).

He had been walking over the bridge with his friend Bernard Kosia after their shift ended, and in a witness statement read out by assistant coroner Dr Julian Morris, Kosia said the pair were alerted by two other men to the woman in the water.

After hearing the woman screaming out 'I can't swim, I'm going to die', the pair decided to help her, and called the police.

Kosia's statement said: "Jimi was saying, 'We've got to save her, she's not dying', he was very adamant about this."

An inquest heard of Jimi's 'courage and determination'.
GoFundMe/Malcolm's World Foundation

Garcia joined the pair at the water's edge after seeing the woman in difficulty. He said in a witness statement she was 'in the water, splashing around' and calling for help around 100 metres from the river bank.

Olubunmi-Adewole and Garcia counted to three and entered the water, the latter jumping first, the inquest heard.

Garcia reached the woman and helped her stay above the water, but he didn't see Olubunmi-Adewole again.

After being in the water for around 15 minutes, Garcia and the woman were rescued, the inquest was told.

Kosia - who didn't enter the river because he can't swim - said in his statement that Olubunmi-Adewole began calling for help shortly after jumping in. He struggled for a minute and was not seen after that, he said.

Two statements read out from members of the public said people nearby were urging Olubunmi-Adewole and Garcia not to jump. They added that they saw Olubunmi-Adewole disappear under the water.

Witnesses said they saw him disappear under the water.
Pexels/Nicole Rathmayr

Giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Stefan Yiannaki - from City of London Police - said Olubunmi-Adewole's 999 call prior to jumping in was 'emotionally charged'.

DS Yiannaki went on: "The conclusion I reached was he died, sadly, that night while trying to save the female.

"It was apparent he had difficulty the moment he hit the water."

He added: "It was a sheer act of bravery trying to help the woman and losing his life in the process."

A search for him was abandoned after an hour and his body was found at 6am that day, close to where he had jumped in.

Dr Morris said his death was a 'truly tragic' accident.

He added: "The courage to jump to help a complete stranger in the Thames at night is quite astonishing.

"Many of us would like to think we would do the same in that situation, but few of us would have the courage and determination."

Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe/Malcolm's World Foundation

Topics: UK News