Nigerian Man Survived For 3 Days Trapped 30m Deep In Freezing Seawater

A man spent nearly three days on a sunken ship, 279 feet underwater and in complete darkness, listening to fish eat the bodies of his shipmates.

When the tug boat Jascon-4 capsized in heavy swells, Harrison Okene, 29, was on board.

Mr Harrison was trapped in an air pocket and was able to breathe as it sank to the seabed upside down.

The bodies of ten of the other 12 people on board have already been discovered, leaving Mr Harrison as the sole survivor.

Mr Harrison told Reuters journalist Joe Brock that he could hear fish eating his fellow crew members’ dead bodies.

Nigerian Man Survived For 3 Days Trapped 30m Deep In Freezing Seawater
© Lekan Oyekanmi/AP

The Jascon-4 capsized on May 26 while stabilising an oil tanker at a Chevron platform about 32 kilometres (20 miles) off the coast of Nigeria.

According to the ship’s owners, West African Ventures, Mr Harrison was working as a cook on board.

Mr Harrison told Reuters that he was in the bathroom when he noticed the boat was starting to turn over, and as the ship sank, he managed to find an air pocket.

“I was in the water in complete darkness, thinking it was the end of the world. I kept expecting the water to fill the room, but it never did “he stated

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“I was starving and thirsty at the same time. My tongue was stripped of its skin by the saltwater.”

“I could tell my crew’s bodies were nearby because they were dead. I could detect their odour. The fish entered the room and began devouring the bodies. The sound was audible to me.”

Nigerian Man Survived For 3 Days Trapped 30m Deep In Freezing Seawater
© AP

Mr Harrison, however, heard knocking after 60 hours.

Chevron and West African Ventures had dispatched a team from the DCN global diving company to investigate.

DCN spokesman Jed Chamberlain told the BBC’s Impact programme, “We expected it to be a body recovery job.”

Mr Harrison “actually grabbed the second diver who went past him,” according to Mr Chamberlain, who added that the diver in question was startled.

“The operation became a rescue operation as a result of this.” Even after Mr Harrison was located, he had to go through a lengthy procedure to bring him out safely.

He needed time in a decompression chamber to restore his body pressure after being at such depths for so long.

Nigerian Man Survived For 3 Days Trapped 30m Deep In Freezing Seawater
© Lekan Oyekanmi/AP

During this time, Christine Cridge, a medical director at the Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC), provided advice to the rescue team.

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She told the BBC’s Newsday programme, “It’s a situation I’ve never come across before.”

“Nitrogen will dissolve into the tissues after a certain amount of time at pressure.” If he had ascended directly from 30 metres to the sea surface, he would have most likely died of cardiac arrest or, at the very least, suffered serious neurological problems.

Mr Harrison calls his storey a “miracle,” but he also told Reuters: “Sometimes it feels like the bed I’m sleeping in is sinking when I’m at home.” I believe I’m back in the sea. I leap to my feet and scream.”

“We are very grateful for Mr Harrison’s survival,” said Jan Messchendorp, general manager of West African Ventures, in a statement. Our thoughts are still with the rest of the crew’s families.”

𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝘁-
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