Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, popularly known as Jimi, died while trying to rescue a woman who fell from London Bridge on Saturday, April 24.
The empathetic 20-year-old man being ‘adamant’ for his heroic stance had his final words with his friend that “In have to save her” moments before jumping into River Thames.
Jimi was on his way home from work at a London restaurant late on Saturday when he was alerted to woman dropping from the London Bridge.
His friend Bernard Kosia, who was with him at the time, said they were approached by two men who showed them a video of a woman “jumping over the bridge”.
He said they called 999 and heard a woman shouting “I’m dying, I’m dying” but could not see anything because it was “pitch black”.
Kosia said he could not swim, but Jimi and another man went into the water at about midnight to try to rescue the woman.
He said he heard his friend shouting his name “but the shout wasn’t normal, it was pain”.
Describing Jimi as a “hero”, Kosia told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Jimi was adamant, for some reason, that he didn’t care [about himself]. He didn’t think twice as to what was going to happen.
“I just remember him saying, ‘Bernard, I have to save her, I’m going to save her’.”
He added: “Jimi means a lot to everyone. Especially around south London now, everyone knows him as a neighborhood hero.
“To risk your life in such a way, you don’t see that every day.
“And the fact that he was adamant to save that woman, it just shows his nature and his mindset.”
Recalling their last conversations before the incident, Kosia said his friend had spoken about his family and told him he loved him.
He said: “They [our conversations] were just always about family, loved ones, what we have to do for them to make sure that they’re OK.”
Although Jimi’s parents, Michael Adewole and Olasunkanmi Adewole wept as they paid tribute to their son, but his father, Mr Adewole called for his son to be awarded a posthumous George Cross for bravery.
He told Good Morning Britain: “I want the government to honor him because Jimi was a good soul to me.
“I want the government to do something … so that his name cannot vanish forever.”
Describing his son as “the breadwinner of the house”, he said he was “always taking care of me and my wife and his friends”.
The father however,thanked all those who have supported a GoFundMe page set up to help the family, which has so far raised more than £88,000.
Ms Adewole said her son “had a good heart”.
Meanwhile, Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Shaw, from City of London Police, described Jimi as a “brave, kind and selfless young man”.
He said: “Our officers arrived extremely quickly to the scene but two members of the public had already entered the water.
“One man had managed to swim to the woman and they were both seen above water by the coastguard. Sadly, there was no sign of the other rescuer.
“We remained on scene to assist the marine units and police helicopter with the search in the water. This was stood down by the coastguard over an hour later.
“We continued to search the shore of the river, in person and using our network of CCTV cameras, and, unfortunately, at 5.46am a body was discovered.
“The circumstances of this incident are extremely tragic. We continue to support the family of this heroic young man who heartbreakingly lost his own life trying to save that of another.”