Folajimi-Olubumni Adewole: Plaque unveiled for hero who saved woman in Thames

Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, drowned after selflessly jumping into the River Thames to save a woman who was shouting for help in April 2021.

A plaque to commemorate Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, known as Jimi the hero after he died rescuing a woman from the Thames, has been unveiled in memory of him.

The 20-year-old drowned after selflessly jumping into the River Thames to save a woman who was shouting for help in April 2021.

A plaque honouring him has been unveiled in Cathedral Square by London Bridge, where he jumped in.

Memorial plaque for Thames hero Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole. Credit: Living Bankside

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan attended the unveiling ceremony on Sunday, alongside Jimi’s parents Michael and Olasunkanmi.

“Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole’s extraordinary act of bravery, jumping into the Thames to rescue a woman from drowning, will never be forgotten,” said Mayor Khan.

“This plaque unveiled today means the city which mourns Jimi will also never forget him – the Bermondsey boy and hero who became a symbol of light.”

Jimi from Bermondsey was on his way home from work when he went into the water with another would-be rescuer, Joaquim Garcia.

The woman and Joaquim were saved by the coastguard and marine police but Jimi couldn’t be found.

His body was recovered about six hours later near London Bridge.

Jimi’s best friend Bernard Kosia was with him that night.

Mr Kosia told an inquest that Jimi told him to stay on land because he could not swim.

In a statement read out by the coroner, Mr Kosia said: “The whole time Jimi was saying ‘I have got to save her.’

“He was very adamant about it. He was taking off his clothes saying ‘I have to save her, she is not dying.’

“The woman was struggling to stay afloat. I could hear her voice and she wanted to be rescued.

“There was clear pain in her voice and she was struggling.

Photo of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole shared on GoFundMe to raise money for his family (Credit: GoFundMe)

“Jimi turned around and told me ‘you can’t swim. This man and I can, and we are going to save this woman.

“They counted out to three and jumped in. Mr Garcia jumped first and then Jimi jumped.

“Then around two minutes later he was shouting my name shouting ‘jump’. I could hear him shouting out and I could not see him anywhere.”

Jimi has been posthumously put forward by the City of London Police for a Royal Humane Society award for his “bravery and selfless actions”.