Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole is being hailed as a “true hero” after he drowned in the River Thames while attempting to rescue a woman who had fallen from the London Bridge.
Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, who went by Jimi, was walking home on his way from work with a friend, Bernard, on Friday evening when they saw that the woman had fallen into the Thames.
Both Jimi and Bernard dived into the water at 00:10 BST on Saturday to try and save the women. The coastguard and the Met Police’s marine unit retrieved the woman and his friend from the river, but after an hour-long search, Jimi’s body was still not discovered.
Six hours later Jimi’s body was pulled from the river.
There has been an outpouring of tributes for Jimi on social media. London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on Twitter that Jimi “the best of us.”
“A true hero of our city who gave his life trying to save another. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time of tragic loss,” he wrote.
Jimi’s parents Michael Adewola and his mother, Olasunkanmi Adewole now want want “justice” for their son. “I feel bad because my son was trying to rescue a woman. I feel so bad.. and I want people to help me. I want justice for my son,” Mrs. Adewole told Sky News.
Mr. Adewola says the search for his son ended too soon.
A spokesperson for City of London Police said: “The Coastguard and Metropolitan Police Marine Units were able to rescue the woman and one of the men.”
Detective Chief Supt Oliver Shaw insisted they did everything they could to search for Jimi.
“I would like to send my deepest condolences, and the condolences of everyone at City of London Police, to the family and friends of this brave, kind and selfless young man.
“Our officers arrived extremely quickly to the scene but two members of the public had already entered the water. One man had managed to swim to the woman and they were both seen above water by the Coastguard. Sadly, there was no sign of the other rescuer. We remained on scene to assist the marine units and police helicopter with the search in the water. This was stood down by the Coastguard over an hour later.
“We continued to search the shore of the river, in person and using our network of CCTV cameras, and unfortunately, at 05.46 a body was discovered. The circumstances of this incident are extremely tragic. We continue to support the family of this heroic young man who heartbreakingly lost his own life trying to save that of another.”