Crewman Survives 2 Days in Underwater Shipwreck
Cook found an air pocket and hung on til help came
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 4:08 PM CDT

(Newser) Reuters has an amazing tale of survival from Nigeria, where the cook on a tugboat spent 60 hours trapped underwater in the sunken vessel and lived to explain how. Harrison Okene managed to find a 4-foot-high pocket of air after getting trapped in a toilet and its adjoining bedroom when the boat went down in stormy seas off the coast. He kept his head above water until stunned divers found him as they were searching for bodies—10 of Okene's crewmates drowned and another remains missing.

"I heard a sound of a hammer hitting the vessel," the 29-year-old recalls. "Boom, boom, boom. I swam down and found a water dispenser. I pulled the water filter and I hammered the side of the vessel hoping someone would hear me." They did. The salt water did a number on his skin, but Okene is otherwise OK after spending another 60 hours in a decompression chamber. He's not rushing back to the sea, however.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
Jun 13, 2013 9:22 AM CDT
It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.~~~Hunter S. Thompson
Jun 13, 2013 1:07 AM CDT
Talking about having case of claustrophobia after words. Amazing survival story.
Jun 12, 2013 8:53 PM CDT
He had a crappy day.