At 4:30am on May 26th, 2013, the Jascon-4 ship sunk 20-miles off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea. The Jascon-4 was a tugboat towing a Chevron oil tanker and it sunk in terrible weather with 12 men onboard.
Three days passed. The wreck was at the bottom of the ocean, 100-feet underwater when a team of South African scuba divers went to check it out.
Over 72 hours had passed, so a decent amount of rust and algae were beginning to coat the boat. The divers were going to start recovering the bodies. They swam inside the vessel. Fish were nibbling some of the corpses.
Suddenly, a hand reached out and grabbed them! The diver probably shat himself on the spot. That hand belonged to the ships cook, Harrison Okene.
29-year old Harrison Okene, the ships cook from Warri, Nigeria, had unbelievably found an air pocket inside the ship! This was a 4-square foot air bubble, which allowed him to survive for over 72 hours in 100-feet of water.
The ship sank upside down and did not fill all the way up with water, thus creating a lucky air pocket in the cabin.
But his oxygen was running low. He was at risk of having a heart attack because so much nitrogen had built up in his blood. And he couldn’t be brought to the surface immediately because he would have serious and potentially fatal decompression-related illness.
Okene had spent over 72 hours in freezing Atlantic waters in nothing but his boxer shorts and only having a bottle of Coca-Cola to drink.
So, the crew put Okene in a diving bell and took him to a decompression chamber on the surface. Okene spent the next 60 hours inside the chamber. He was rescued just in time.
He is now plagued by recurring nightmares, “When I am at home sometimes it feels like the bed I am sleeping in is sinking. I think I’m still in the sea again. I jump up and scream,” Okene says.
Amazing what sort of conditions humans can endure!
Click image to watch eerie video of the rescue: