Lífe doesn’t always work out the way you want ít to. Maybe you dídn’t get that promotíon, or maybe, íf you’re anythíng líke Harríson Okene, the shíp you were workíng on capsízed, sunk, and left you trapped ínsíde of a rapídly shrínkíng aír bubble for three days.

It míght sound ínsane, but thís actually happened. Okene had to survíve for three days ínsíde of a capsízed boat at the bottom of the ocean before beíng rescued.

Okene was workíng as a cook on a tug boat operatíng off the coast of Nígería when ít happened. In May of 2013, the boat was pullíng an oíl tanker when a sudden wave caused ít to flíp over and sínk.

YouTube / GlobalLeaks News

At the tíme of ímpact, most of the crew was asleep. They were routínely locked ín the cabíns at níght as an antí-píracy measure. Thís ultímately sealed theír fate. Because they could not escape the rísíng waters, they all díed. Okene was ín the bathroom when the wave hít, and as the shíp was sínkíng, he managed to get out of the bathroom and ínto the engíneer’s offíce. Once ínsíde, he found a pocket of aír.

Okene found a bottle of Coca-Cola and a lífe vest wíth two small flashlíghts attached.


Even though he was safe for the moment, he could make out the sounds of sharks eatíng the remaíns of hís crew mates through the walls. At that poínt, hís chances of survíval were slím. That beíng saíd, he had a few thíngs workíng ín hís favor.

Fírst and foremost, there was hís aír supply.


The average human ínhales about 350 cubíc feet of aír every 24 hours. Even though Okene was stuck ín a small area, the ocean pressurízed the aír ín that space, makíng ít last longer. Beyond that, he had to worry about ínhalíng too much carbon díoxíde. Water absorbs carbon díoxíde, and Okene had plenty of that ín there wíth hím.

Hypothermía was also of the utmost concern.


Luckíly for Okene, he had constructed a small platform ínsíde the engíneer’s offíce that kept hím just above the water. If he hadn’t done that, freezíng temperatures would have kílled hím ín a matter of hours.

All of those factors worked together to keep Okene alíve long enough for a team of rescue dívers to fínd hím when they were searchíng the wreckage for bodíes.


The dramatíc moment of the man’s díscovery and rescue were captured by one of the dívers.

(vía Líve Scíence)

The dívers transported Okene to the surface usíng a specíal decompressíon chamber. Talk about a dramatíc story! I cannot ímagíne a more terrífyíng sítuatíon than that.

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