A 17-year-old YouTube prankster nearly drowned after jumping off Tower Bridge last week as part of an “extremely dangerous” stunt.
Shah Faisal Shinwari, whose account on the video-sharing website has over 25,000 subscribers, described it as his “stupidest idea ever.” He was hospitalised after jumping from the bridge into the fast-flowing river on July 16, suffering bruises and an infection.
In front of startled tourists, Shah leapt over the barrier and into the water, immediately finding himself in trouble. Wearing a heavy hoody and shoes, he struggled to swim against the current and swallowed mouthfuls of water.
After calling for help, he was thrown a life-preserver by an RNLI crew who then pumped his stomach and lungs of the dirty water on the bank.
Tony Wafer, Community Safety Manager for RNLI, said that Shah was “extremely lucky” to have escaped largely unharmed.
He said: “As a lifesaving organisation that works on the Thames in London, we are extremely disappointed that this young man chose to risk his life in this way. He was extremely lucky that the outcome wasn’t more serious. We’re glad that this young man regrets his actions, however we would strongly discourage anyone from doing anything like this.
“Jumping into the Thames from a bridge is extremely dangerous – the shock of cold water make it very difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.”