On April 26 2021, the UK-based Facebook page “North East News desk” shared a post about a London man named Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, who died while rescuing a woman attempting suicide.
In addition to two photographs of Olubunmi-Adewole, a status update said the following:
This is Folajimi Olubunmi- Adewole, he lost his life yesterday [April 25 2021] when he jumped into the Thames in London to save a lady attempting suicide, she survived and he unfortunately drowned…..God bless him, when many stand and watch he acted, Hero is a word bandied about too much these days, the word is meant for Jimi as his friends knew him.
Jimi died a real life hero and it hasn’t had much coverage on TV or Radio that we know of.
Please help make this guy famous for the right reasons.
We are sure if he had of done wrong in this life he’d be all over the news!
The post claimed that the incident “hasn’t had much coverage on TV or Radio that we know of,” and no news accounts were included; more than 175,000 Facebook users shared the post in a two-day period.
According to the post, Olubunmi-Adewole was killed on April 25 2021. We were able to track down reporting from news organizations like the BBC, Independent.co.uk, The Guardian, The Scottish Sun, and Yahoo! News, indicating that the details were accurate.
The BBC’s April 27 2021 article began:
A man who died after jumping into the River Thames in central London to rescue a woman handed his phone to a friend and told him to make sure the police were coming before doing so.Man on Beach Attacked by Killer Whale-Fiction!Man on Beach Attacked by Killer Wha...
Bernard Kosia told how Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole made the leap after they heard a woman screaming.
He said she was crying for her life, shouting: “Help, I’m going to die”.
Mr Olubunmi-Adewole was one of two men who jumped in to save her, but his body was recovered about six hours later.
Mr Kosia and 20-year-old Mr Olubunmi-Adewole – who was known as Jimi to his friends – had been walking along London Bridge when they heard the screams.
The Independent‘s reporting indicated the incident occurred on April 24 2021 (not April 25 2021):
A 20-year-old man who died trying to rescue a woman in the River Thames told his friend “I have to save her” moments before jumping in.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, known as Jimi, was on his way home from work at a central London restaurant late on Saturday [April 24 2021] when he was alerted to a woman falling from 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”.
The Guardian‘s April 27 2021 article began:
A 20-year-old man who died trying to rescue a drowning woman from the Thames was adamant he had to jump into the water in spite of the serious risk to himself, his friend has said.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, known to friends and family as Jimi, died on Saturday night [April 24 2021], after trying to rescue the woman in the waters around London Bridge. On Tuesday [April 27 2021], his friend Bernard Kosia, who was with him, described him as a hero.
“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,” Kosia told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I just remember him saying ‘Bernard, I have to save her, I’m going to save her’.”
The Scottish Sun reported the incident on April 24 2021, and Yahoo! News’ coverage appeared on the morning of April 26 2021, about five hours before the Facebook post was published. According to HelloMagazine.com, the incident was addressed twice on Good Morning Britain — once on April 26 2021 and again the following day, moving host Susanna Reid to tears.
An April 26 2021 Facebook post about the heroic actions and death of 20-year-old Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole in London were accurately relayed, and they were unfortunately true. Olubunmi-Adewole did save a woman in London on April 24 2021, but he did not survive the rescue himself. Although the story did receive widespread coverage, much of that coverage was published or aired after the Facebook post began circulating.