When a tugboat capsized off the Nigerian coast, the situation quickly deteriorated. The large 12-man crew all went under the waves and they were all presumed dead. The rescue went on nonetheless and a rescue diver went into the depths, 62 hours after the disaster. That's where he discovered something that could only be described as a miracle. The video of the rescue later surfaced and reveals how it all started when he suddenly felt someone reaching for his hand...
At first the diver thought that the man was dead, but he quickly noticed that the hand moved and the sailor was alive. As soon as his surprise died down, the diver received instructions on calming the man in the shipwreck by patting him on the shoulder.
The man in the boat is Harrison Okene. The 29-year-old was in the bathroom when the ship capsized, finding himself trapped in a 4×4 room, 30 meters below the icy waters of the Atlantic for two and a half days. He was caught in an air pocket created by the washroom as the tugboat capsized and sank. One could say the toilet saved him!
From his safe toilet haven Okene could hear sea creatures eating his dead colleagues. Of the total 12 men on the ship, he was the only one to survive.
“I was hungry, but especially so thirsty. The salt water tore the skin from my tongue,” says Okene, who managed to survive on a Coca-Cola can trapped with him.
Okene showed exceptional calm upon being discovered and followed the diver’s instructions, who carefully helped him back to surface. It was no easy feat. When the man finally emerged he was remained in a hyperbaric chamber for several days to avoid brain damage. His discovery and rescue can only be called the “The Great Escape”.
Amazing that Okene bounced back despite some incredibly harrowing circumstances! Watch the incredible rescue here:
To me, this really shows that you should never give up hope. What a great feeling it must have been to be rescued after all that time in the dark and freezing cold!