Harrison Okene: The Man Who Survived Three Days in a Sunken Ship

Harrison Okene: The Man Who Survived Three Days in a Sunken Ship

There are stories so astounding that if there wasn’t evidence that they happened, we probably wouldn’t believe them. Such is the case of Harrison Okene, who in 2013 worked as a cook on a tugboat off the coast of Nigeria that completely sank. But, as if by a miracle, he survived for three days inside the fully submerged ship.

The Incredible Tale of Survival by Harrison Okene

Harrison Okene: The Man Who Survived Three Days in a Sunken Ship

The ship Okene worked on was stabilizing an oil tanker. It had a crew of 12 people, and suddenly, a terrible storm capsized the ship.

Unfortunately, they were all in their rooms and didn’t have time to escape. The rooms were locked, a security measure they used to protect themselves from pirates who often targeted ships in the region.

According to Harrison Okene’s account, all the crew members were asleep except for him, as he had woken up early to prepare breakfast. When a massive wave struck the ship, he was in the bathroom.

The jolt was so violent that it knocked him over, and the ship began to sink rapidly. In a matter of minutes, it was at the bottom of the sea… and Okene was still inside, alive, thanks to an air pocket. He was fortunate to find two mattresses to stack on top of each other and remained above the rising water in his tiny chamber.

However, he didn’t know he would be floating in an air pocket for the next 60 hours. If he had had any water phobia or had simply suffered a panic attack, he wouldn’t have survived, as it was his calmness that kept him safe with limited air.

A Miraculous Rescue

Harrison Okene: The Man Who Survived Three Days in a Sunken Ship

He was lucky that his rescuers didn’t take too long to arrive, as the small area he was in was gradually flooding. As the hours passed, the air he was breathing was turning into carbon dioxide.

When they rescued him, he had little time left. In fact, authorities couldn’t understand how the air pocket had lasted so long.

The dive team wasn’t there to search for survivors but to recover the bodies of the victims. One of the divers was swimming inside the vessel when he noticed a hand gently touching him.

Harrison Okene appeared calm and composed, grateful that they were there to help him. But it wasn’t all joy; the rescue had to be carried out with utmost care, as he had been in deep waters for a long time. He had also absorbed potentially lethal amounts of nitrogen, and if they had brought him up to the surface abruptly, he could have died due to the pressure change.

The crew equipped him with a special suit and began his ascent back. He passed out on the way, but fortunately, nothing serious happened, and he survived. He spent two days in a decompression chamber and suffered several episodes of post-traumatic stress… but he made it.

Where Is Harrison Okene Today?

Harrison Okene: The Man Who Survived Three Days in a Sunken Ship

Harrison Okene still thanks his lucky stars for being alive. When he was trapped, he thought his fellow crew members had also survived, but when he reached the surface, he was given the sad news that he was the only survivor.

During the days he was underwater, he thought about his family, his mother, and his wife. Furthermore, he stated that the only thing that kept him sane was faith. He prayed as much as he could and asked God to reunite him with his family, and he got an answer.

However, the trauma didn’t instantly disappear. Harrison Okene suffered terrible nightmares for years; he would wake up in the middle of the night scared and even swore he would never go near the sea again.

But as the years passed, his fear faded, and he became a certified commercial diver in 2015. To make the story even more thrilling, the person who handed him his diploma was the diver who rescued him.

Harrison Okene’s story is one of the most fascinating ones out there. It might have been luck, it might have been destiny, and even God might have answered his prayers, but the fact remains that he survived and can tell the world about his journey.

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Acerca de Erick Sumoza

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