This Day (Lagos)

4 December 2013

Nigeria: Chef Survives in an Air Pocket for 60 Hours in Capsized Tug

This newly released video shows the dramatic rescue of man who survived days underwater - in the wreckage of an overturned boat in the Atlantic Coast ... ( Resource: Nigerian Man Rescued After 3 Days Underwater

A ship's cook, Harrison Okene, was rescued from his capsized tug after surviving for two-and-a-half days in an air pocket four feet high and living on sips of Coca-Cola.

New television footage has emerged of his astounding rescue by South African divers in May, who were only expecting to find dead bodies in the upturned wreckage that had sunk to the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Nigeria.

Okene, 29, only drew the attention of the divers when, by chance, he saw the light of a torch piercing the waters which were gradually rising around him.

According to Reuters, Okene was aboard the Jascon-4 tugboat when it capsized due to heavy Atlantic waters about 20 miles off the Nigerian coast. The boat had been working to stabilise an oil tanker being filled up at a Chevron platform nearby.

He was the only survivor found among the ship's 12 crew members. Okene was given an oxygen mask and diver's suit by the rescue team and made it back to the surface 60 hours after the ship had sunk.

He spent another 60 hours in a decompression chamber, where his body pressure was returned to normal. If he had been exposed immediately to normal surface pressure, he would have died.

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