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Nigerian Man Rescued Alive 3 Days After His Boat Capsized, Here's How He Survived Underwater

By: Buzz Staff

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Last Updated: December 09, 2022, 17:01 IST

Nigeria

Okene remained underwater for almost 3 days when he heard a voice hammering on the deck. (Credits: Reuters)

Okene remained underwater for almost 3 days when he heard a voice hammering on the deck. (Credits: Reuters)

The Nigerian cook was rescued back in May 2013 and was the sole survivor of the Jacson-4, which overturned and sank to the seabed after being battered by heavy waves.

Even when you start believing that all doors have closed, there’s always one ray of hope. And this story of a cook from Nigeria is all about hope and how things eventually fall into place. Submerged at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, all Harrison Odjegba Okene had was hope for getting rescued and a dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket. Okene, a Nigerian cook survived for three days in an upended tugboat. The incident, which took place nine years ago, has gone viral once again on social media. The Nigerian cook was rescued back in May 2013 and was the sole survivor of the Jacson-4, which overturned and sank to the seabed after being battered by heavy waves. Eleven of his crew members died during the accident as the vessel sank some 12 miles (approximately 20 km) off Nigeria’s mangrove-lined coast.

According to a report by the news agency AP, while sharing his ordeal, Okene said that it was early hours in the morning when he was using the toilet. He recalled the vessel sinking downward at a fast pace. He was unable to reach the emergency exit and had to reportedly witness three of his crew members getting sucked into the deep sea.

He stated that such was the pressure of the water that it swept him into another toilet while the boat plunged into the freezing depths. Reportedly, Okene was wearing only underpants at the time and began praying to god as the water began seeping steadily into the air bubble of the cabin.

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Okene remained underwater for almost 3 days when he heard a voice hammering on the deck. Luckily, it was the team of South African divers scouring the waters, who were dispatched on a presumable body recovering operation.

“I was dazed and everywhere was dark as I was thrown from one end of the small cubicle to another. I started calling on the name of God. I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalms 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed,” he said after getting rescued.

One of the divers was shocked to hear a faint hammering in response. By the time the cook was found, his body had already absorbed a potentially faint amount of nitrogen. He was then strapped into diving equipment, which took him to the surface. Warm water was used to bring him back to consciousness and Okene also spent some time in the decompression chamber after getting rescued.

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first published:December 09, 2022, 17:01 IST
last updated:December 09, 2022, 17:01 IST
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