Folajimi Alubunmi-Adewole – Silver Medal In Memoriam

Folajimi Alubunmi-Adewole – Silver Medal In Memoriam

On the evening of 3 April 2021 Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole and his close friend Bernard Kosia had finished work at a restaurant and were walking home together. As they crossed London Bridge, they were approached by two panicked men who told them a woman had gone into the Thames and was struggling to stay afloat. Folajimi (Jimi) immediately called 999 to get help. They could both hear the woman shouting from the water, but as it was dark, they could not immediately locate her. They ran across
the bridge to the southern end where they thought the shouts were coming from and descended the steps towards the water.

Looking down onto the river, they could see the woman struggling to stay afloat and shouting that she could not swim. Jimi and Bernard were joined at the river’s edge by Joaquin Garcia, who was
in the local area and had also heard the commotion. Without hesitation, and with no thought to their own safety, both Jimi and Joaquin jumped into the river to save the woman’s life. As Bernard
could not swim, he remained on the shoreline and continued to update the emergency services using Jimi’s phone.

Soon after entering the water, Bernard heard Jimi shouting for help but, despite frantically looking, he could not see him. The emergency services arrived shortly afterwards, and Bernard guided
them towards where he thought Jimi and the woman were. A visual search, including using boats, was launched to try and locate all three people. Unaware of Jimi’s difficulties, Joaquin swam out
to the distressed woman, who was still struggling, and begun to calm her down. He then attempted to pull her towards the shore but found that he did not have the strength left to do so. He did manage to strip-off her heavy winter coat, which was retaining water, and he kept her afloat.

The cold water and the strong current quickly became too difficult for Joaquin and he struggled to keep his own head above water. He then had the presence of mind to encourage the woman to remain
in a horizontal floating position and they waited for the arrival of emergency service rescue boats.

Very shortly afterwards the nearest emergency service boat reached them, and crew members rescued both the woman and Joaquin. The search for Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole continued for over an hour. Tragically his body was found later that morning on the Thames foreshore.