A crew member on the capsized Jascon 4 tugboat miraculously survived three days thanks to an underwater air pocket.
He was the only survivor of a crew of 12.
The Jascon 4 tugboat sank on May 26 off the coast of Nigeria while towing an oil tanker, but the video footage has just hit the Internet. The very lucky survivor — the cook on the vessel — was rescued 100 feeet below the surface by divers working at a neighboring oil field. Since apparently no one was expected to be found alive, one of the divers was stunned when the cook grabbed his hand. The divers were affiliated with the Dutch company DCN.
According to ABC News report about the Jascon 4 rescue, “The survivor — Harrison Okene, the ship’s cook — had been in the bathroom onboard the tug just before 5 a.m., when a massive rogue swell capsized the ship. As it sank, Okene scrambled into a cabin and found an air pocket — just a few feet of precious air. He stayed there for more than 60 hours in utter darkness and in fear of sharks until the dive team found him… Okene’s ordeal is believed to be the longest anyone has ever survived after being trapped underwater.”
The DCN project manager commented that “It was frightening for everybody. For the guy that was trapped because he didn’t know what was happening. It was a shock for the diver while he was down there looking for bodies, and we (in the control room) shot back when the hand grabbed him on the screen.” See full video of the rescue embedded below.
Okene, 29, prayed constantly during this underwater nightmare. “I started calling on the name of God…. I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalm 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed.”
He is back home in Nigeria, doing fine, and getting a lot of rest pursuant to doctor’s orders.
[thumbnail image credit: Travellers & Tinkers]