A video blogger on YouTube says he is lucky to be alive after agreeing to jump off Tower Bridge for dare to try to help him get over his fear of heights.
17-year-old arts student Shah Faisal Shinwari, whose YouTube channel "Carnage" boasts nearly 30,000 subscribers, is warning people not to perform stupid stunts for viral hits after the incident, with the RNLI strongly discouraging anyone from copying Shinwari.
In the video, Shinwari admits to having a fear of heights. So what does he decide is the best way to overcome such anxiety? Jump off Tower Bridge.
The video cuts to Shinwari standing on Tower Bridge itself, preparing to jump. He is egged on by the cameraman, who says that he should do it for all the "Shin warriors". Shinwari jumps, but it is not a perfect dive and he is seen tumbling into the River Thames.
Shinwari is sent downstream, swallowing dirty water and struggling to swim against the current. The video then shows Shinwari lying in his underwear on the side of the river as he is treated by medical staff after being rescued by the RNLI. Shinwari's video ends with the 17-year-old speaking to camera, stating that it was the "most stupid thing" he had ever done, emphasising how close he came to death and warning people not to ever attempt a similar stunt.
On YouTube Shinwari wrote, "It originally was a dare from one of my subscribers, and I attempted it as I like doing crazy s***. This was later very regretted by me and I realised it was the stupidest idea ever." Listing the things that went wrong, he wrote, "Swallowed lots of dirty water, internal drowning, low tide, couldn't swim against current, failed the jump, and infection from water."
RNLI community safety manager, Tony Wafer, told The Evening Standard: "As a lifesaving organisation that works on the Thames, we are extremely disappointed this young man chose to risk his life in this way.
"We're glad this young man regrets his actions, but 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 can make it very difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away."
This was my stupidest video idea to date and it will never happen again, I promise.— Shah Faisal Shinwari (@SFaisalShinwari) July 24, 2015
Shinwari said he was in big trouble with his parents after the stunt and told The Evening Standard: "I didn't die, but if someone else had done it they might have done. I got lucky."
Definitely going to be donating to @RNLI Thanks again— Shah Faisal Shinwari (@SFaisalShinwari) July 24, 2015