Some stories touch your heart and make you marvel at the unbelievable things that have happened to people, and this is one of them. In 2013, Harrison Okene was working as a cook on a tugboat off the Nigerian coast. The boat was stabilizing an oil tanker and had a crew of 12 people on board.
The smaller boat was suddenly capsized and sent plunging into the depths of the ocean by an ocean swell that smacked against it out of nowhere. The entire crew perished along with the boat, sadly imprisoned in their cabins as they sank toward certain death.
Because pirates frequently robbed vessels in that area, the boat’s rooms were sealed for security reasons. To protect the cargo and the people, they shut the doors.
Everyone lost out because the staff was all dozing off in their cabins except for Harrison Okene. He had found himself on the toilet at this very moment and was seated there when the wave struck the boat. He had awoken early and was preparing to begin preparing breakfast for the team.
He was thrown from the restroom and bounced all over the ship as it fiercely descended. Harrison was fortunate enough to stumble into an air pocket as the ship finally sank to the bottom of the ocean.
He was able to find two mattresses to stack on top of one another, and he managed to stay in his little, cramped chamber above the rising water.
My stomach turns simply thinking about it. Likely, Harrison Okene would not have survived if he had claustrophobia or a fear of deep water. He managed to survive without food, water, or nearly any air for 60 hours because he maintained his composure.
The bubble of air that he found surely saved his life, but it would have not lasted for much longer. The air he was breathing was becoming more and more concentrated with carbon dioxide due to the limited space he was in the rising water and the passing of time.
Around 60 hours after the ship went down, the dive team that was hired to retrieve the bodies from the wreck arrived at the boat. Consider the man who discovered him. A hand stretched out and softly touched him while he was swimming through the ship’s interior to title him.
Harrison Okene was composed and incredibly appreciative that they were there to save him. He had spent so much time in such deep water that they had to be quite cautious when handling him. He had taken in potentially lethal levels of nitrogen, and if they had abruptly hauled him to the surface, he might have succumbed to the bends.
He was given a special outfit by the crew, and they then began assisting him in returning to life on land. He fainted while ascending, yet he is still alive to share his experience. He spent two days in a decompression chamber and had several trauma-related symptoms, including nightmares and ravenous hunger.
Harrison Okene’s survival story is truly remarkable, and it highlights the incredible strength and resilience of the human spirit. Despite facing impossible odds and being trapped in the most harrowing of situations, Okene managed to remain calm and composed, ultimately emerging as a survivor against all odds.