A man who was trapped for three days on the floor of the ocean in a capsized boat has survived to tell the tale of his ordeal. Harrison Odjegba Okene’s day started out like any other. He was working as a chef on a tugboat near the coast of Nigeria, and was just getting ready to prep for work when he felt the boat pitch wildly. The boat was overturned by a large wave, quickly filled with water and sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor. All of OKene’s co-workers were killed, but he managed to resurface in an air bubble trapped within the boat, his body submerged in icy water from the chest down.
Okene had not yet completely prepared for his day, and was clad only in a pair of boxer shorts. He had to endure freezing temperatures and severe dehydration, subsisting on just one bottle of Coke he managed to grab before the boat sank. A stunning video on YouTube of his dramatic rescue can be seen below. In the video, rescuers who had been sent to the wreckage to recover the corpses of those who had drowned were shocked when they grabbed onto a hand they saw floating in the water. Thinking the hand was attached to a deceased victim, they were not expecting it to squeeze back. “He’s alive!” they shouted when Okene began responding to the rescuer’s touch.
Okene had been trapped on the ocean floor in the capsized boat for three days by the time he was found; and he was nearly shell-shocked to realize he had survived. Rescuers asked him his name and gave him water to drink, then quickly attached an oxygen mask over his face and instructed him to swim with them under the water to safety and then to a decompression chamber, which is used to prevent air embolisms that can arise from a sudden change in pressure.
“You’re a survivor!” said one of the rescue crew, as Okene was led to safety. Crew leader Tony Walker said the experience was rather unnerving: “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.”
Okene passed the time by reciting bible verses and calling upon God for a miracle. He says he recited a verse his wife had shared with him the night prior while he wondered about his fate. His mind was focused on his wife as well as on wondering what had happened to his co-workers. While Okene and many in his circle of friend and family credit God with his unbelievable rescue, Slate Magazine points out that the laws of physics should also get credit, because they were on his side with regard to the size of the air bubble in which he was trapped and the rate at which carbon dioxide disperses in water.
This brave man survived for three days trapped on the ocean floor in an air pocket under a capsized boat. He also was rescued without a scratch on him, although he did have to spend nearly three additional days in a decompression chamber. His friends and family were overjoyed at his safe return, having previously thought he had also perished. Watch the incredible video below.
By: Rebecca Savastio