Tributes paid to hero from Bermondsey who died trying to rescue women from the Thames

Kevin Quinn (25 April, 2021)

Brave Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole a former Harris Academy Peckham pupil was only twenty years of age

44009Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole - photo taken from gofundmepage

Friends are paying tribute at the loss of a 20-year-old man, who died after heroically diving into the Thames to save a woman from drowning at London Bridge.

On social media and on a gofund me page set up, friends have talked of the shock and sent their condolences to Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole’s family from Bermondsey.

Better known as Jimi he was one of two men that leapt into the Thames to save a woman just after midnight yesterday, April 24, the other man is said to be his friend.  The coastguard and marine police patrols were able to pull the woman and the other man out of the river alive, but Folajimi could not be found in the high tide and choppy waters.  His body was discovered almost six hours later after an extensive search involving police helicopters and other emergency services.

It was believed he was returning to his Bermondsey home from work on Friday night when he spotted the woman.

Friends paid tribute to Folajimi on social media under the hashtag #JimiTheHero. They praised him and said he was well known for helping others. “Jimi, it’s going to be weird not seeing you grinning like you always do. Such a clean-hearted kid. To have been so heroic, this really hurts,” wrote one.

Another said:  “Still in shock and still confused … you were selfless as always and will be remembered for that! RIP my brother, rest in the most perfect peace. I pray God welcomes you with open arms.”

A gofund me page to allow mourners to help pay for Folajimi’s funeral has been set up by the charity Malcolm’s World Foundation. The charity was set up by the parents of Malcolm Mide-Madariola, a pupil at the Harris Academy in Peckham who was murdered in 2018 at the age of 17.

The page which was only set up today has in a matter of seven hours already hit it’s £25,000 target.

One post from Rachel Olanrewaja reads: “Jimi was my bestfriend, my little angels godfather. he was greatest man ever with a bright future ahead with goals to achieve his music. my heartaches so much that, just like that he is gone. as we lost him a hero was born please continue to pray for his family and his girlfriend . (and support) 167 STIZZY never forget that.”

Nigerian-born Folajimi was also a former pupil at the Harris Academy Peckham. Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, said: “This is incredibly sad news. The selflessness of this brave young man has cost him his life in trying to save the life of another.

“A family and friends have been deprived of watching Folajimi enjoy a successful and happy life full of potential. This is a tragic end to a life of promise — selflessly choosing to get involved in a situation many others would have chosen to ignore. His heroism is typical of the altruism, positivity and good grace that his teachers at Harris Academy remember so well.”

One of Folajimi’s closest friends, Joseph Sowole, 20, told the Sunday Times that he “wasn’t even slightly surprised” to hear about his actions in trying to save the woman.

“He was just that kind of person, always trying to help the next person,” said Sowole, who attended Harris Academy with Folajimi from the age of 11.

“Jimi was a very caring person and a very family orientated person. His mum is just devastated, the whole community is so upset. All he cared about was his mum and dad and his family. Every penny he earned he would spend on his family.” A keen dancer who “enjoyed everything”, Folajimi was “getting to that point where he was really starting to appreciate life and family”.

You can go to the gofundme page HERE

It was the second incident of someone falling into the Thames this week, after reports that a woman heroically jumped in to try and save a schoolboy from drowning at Tower Bridge on Tuesday morning.

As the News has already reported the Ark Globe Academy pupil, who is believed to be aged just thirteen, fell from Tower Bridge at around 8am on route to the school in Elephant & Castle.

The woman was rescued, but the City of London police have yet to find the schoolboy.

The Sun reported witnesses saying that the woman heard screams when he fell from Tower Bridge and despite using a life-float to swim into the Thames, she was only able to recover his school jacket and school bag.

An ‘intensive search’ for the boy involving helicopter and marine searches was launched but he has not yet been found.

Police have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed a boy falling into the Thames from Tower Bridge to come forward with any information that could help by calling 020 7601 2999, quoting reference 21000215310.

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