Brave Thames River rescuer nominated for heroism award

Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewol

A man who died trying to rescue a drowning woman from the River Thames should be awarded a medal for bravery.

The call for recognition comes from a fellow rescuer who also dived into the dark cold waters from London Bridge.

Joaquin Garcia – along with the woman – was plucked to safety by the coastguard.

But restaurant worker Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewol, 20, could be found.

His body was discovered six hours later.

There is a campaign for him to be awarded The George Cross; a recognition “for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger”

Mr Garcia said:

“I back the campaign for Jimi to take a medal for his honour and his braveness.

“I think he deserves that.

“I think it would be really good for the family as well.”

Mr Garcia said he was walking across the bridge when he heard Mr Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewol – known as Jimi – shouting “she’s there, she’s there”.

Mr Garcia said he asked Jimi if he was going to jump in and he replied “yes”.

“Jimi started to count and said, ‘let’s do it’.

“I couldn’t think on it, so I just jumped… and that’s the last time I saw Jimi.”

The City of London Police have asked the Royal Humane Society to put Mr Olubunmi-Adewol forward for an award for his “bravery and selfless actions”.

And more than 150,000 have signed an online petition for a plaque to be put on London Bridge to recognise his selfless bravery.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV’s Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.