"I was there in the water in total darkness just thinking it’s the end. I kept thinking the water was going to fill up the room but it did not." - Harrison Okene
Harrison Okene is a Nigerian cook who miraculously survived for 60 hours in an air pocket in the sunken Jascon 4 ship on the ocean floor. The incident happened in May 2013, when the vessel, which was working for Chevron Nigeria Limited, sank off the coast of Nigeria. The ship was transporting cement from Apapa to Chevron's Parabe offshore platform when it capsized and sank, trapping 12 crew members onboard. Okene was the only survivor.
The Jascon 4 ship sank in a matter of seconds, and most of the crew members, including the captain, were unable to escape. However, Okene, who was in the toilet at the time of the incident, managed to find his way to a small air pocket in the sunken vessel. He spent the next 60 hours in complete darkness, with only a bottle of Coca-Cola to sustain him. The water was freezing cold, and Okene was left with only his underwear to protect him from the elements.
Okene managed to find a small space to shelter in, which he shared with some dead bodies. As he later described, he had to stay calm and focused to stay alive. He rationed the Coca-Cola and tried to conserve his energy as much as possible. He also prayed and sang gospel songs to keep his spirits up.
The first sign of hope came when Okene heard some divers outside the ship. He tried to signal them by banging on a metal surface with a hammer, but they couldn't hear him. Later, Okene found a torch and used it to signal the divers. When they finally saw him, they were shocked to find him alive and well. The divers then provided him with oxygen and a communication line, so he could speak with the rescue team on the surface.
After 60 hours in the sunken ship, Okene was finally rescued by the divers, who managed to cut a hole in the hull of the vessel. He was brought to the surface and taken to a decompression chamber, where he was treated for dehydration, exposure, and other injuries. Despite his ordeal, Okene managed to survive the accident, thanks to his courage, faith, and resilience.
The incident made Okene an overnight sensation, and he received worldwide media attention for his survival story. His story is a testament to the human spirit and the will to survive in the face of adversity. It is also a reminder of the risks and dangers that seafarers face in their daily work.
Okene's survival story also raises questions about the safety and security of seafarers, particularly those working on ships that are not up to international safety standards. The Jascon 4 ship was reportedly unseaworthy and lacked proper safety equipment, which may have contributed to the tragic incident. The incident also highlights the importance of proper training and emergency procedures for seafarers, as well as the need for stricter regulation and enforcement of safety standards in the shipping industry.
Okene's survival story is an inspiration to many, and he has become a symbol of hope and resilience for people around the world. His story reminds us that even in the darkest of moments, there is always hope and a chance for survival.