3 Days After the Boat went Down, A Man was Discovered Alive at the Bottom of the Sea

On May 23, it will be ten years since Harrison Okene, who survived the shipwreck, spent three days at the ocean’s bottom.


The 29-year-old had spent 60 hours alone and in extreme cold and darkness 100 feet below the surface of the ocean. When he was discovered, it was thought that he was just hours away from passing away.

Nico van Heerden, the diver who discovered Okene, told Newsweek, “It was really unexpected and a huge shock to find someone alive after the vessel sank days earlier. “He was not the first person we came across, though. Before we found him, we found and recovered the bodies of three of his colleagues that perished during the incident. Very tragic indeed.”

People do perish when ships sink, he said, “but I’ve never heard of finding someone alive after so long.”

Okene worked as a cook aboard the Jascon-4, a tugboat. About 19 miles off the west coast of Nigeria, the small boat was traveling to a neighboring oil tanker when it was unexpectedly swamped by a big wave.

Okene told Nine News Australia, “We were sinking before we realized it. We had been sailing for a long time; we were familiar with the water, and we had never encountered any problems.

Okene started running through the ship but discovered that many of the doors were shut to keep off pirates. As water flooded into the ship, he was stuck inside a toilet in an officer’s cabin and was unable to get out as the ship started to plummet to the bottom of the sea.

Fortunate to Live

Fortunately, a little air pocket was preserved inside the toilet. He was in complete darkness and numbing cold, yet he could breathe. He remarked, “Underwater, it was so, so, so chilly. I was battling to survive, wondering how long [the air pocket] would keep me alive, and worrying about my wife, my kids, and what would happen to them if I didn’t get out.

When Okene ran out of oxygen, he used a rope to navigate back to his air pocket after unsuccessfully trying to escape the underwater labyrinth. He said, “I was praying a lot.

Okene was in grave risk of carbon dioxide poisoning as well as experiencing thirst, hunger, and hypothermia since he was stranded in the cold wearing just his underpants, with diminishing air, and no food or water.

Paul Schumacker, a pediatrics professor and authority on hypoxia at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told Newsweek that Mr. Okene was “fortunate to have lived.”

Other Reports, Shark Attack

A woman who was attacked by a shark in South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach described the incident to her grandson, who was nearby.

Pittsburgh native Karren Sites was one of two people who were harmed by sharks on August 15 at Myrtle Beach. Given that the two assaults happened half a mile apart and over a period of time, police were unclear if the same shark was responsible for both.

“I was only in waist-deep water when I felt what I thought was a bite, Sites told WPDE-TV. “I just felt something bite me, and I glanced down and there was a shark on my arm. I continued pushing at it to get it off my arm, and suddenly it did.”

Shark attacks in South Carolina will total four in 2022 as a result of Sites’ assault and the one on August 15. Shark attacks totaled four in South Carolina in 2021 and one in 2020 for the entire year.