Nigerian cook survives two days in air bubble beneath shipwreck

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz

An astounding tale of survival has emerged from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, after a tugboat cook survived two days trapped beneath his capsized vessel, according to Reuters.

When the Jascon-4 tugboat sank off the coast of Nigeria on May 26, the first reports said rescuers were searching for all 12 missing crew members. The Reuters reporter who covered the story, Joe Brock, tweeted that authorities feared the worst.

[ Related: Nigerian cook survives two days under sea in shipwreck air bubble ]

Search parties found 10 bodies from the crew of the ship, which had been contracted by the oil company Chevron, according to Reuters.

But deep below the ocean's surface, the tugboat's cook was struggling to survive in the cold water as he breathed through a shrinking air bubble. Harrison Okene recounted to Reuters the horror of his two days beneath the sunken ship, describing how he ached with thirst and fear.

He said he could hear fish eating the dead bodies of his crew mates.

He was in the bathroom when the boat began to capsize, according to the story, and when he opened the door he watched the water sweep three of his colleagues away.

Those were the first moments of an ordeal that lasted more than 60 hours, with Okene beneath the boat awaiting rescue. Reuters reports a search party found him on May 28 and Okene said he reached the surface at 7:32 p.m. that day.

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Okene told the reporter the memories are still raw and he might not return to work on the ocean.

Joe Brock tweeted about the experience of interviewing Okene at his home in Warri, Nigeria, calling his story "amazing."