A chef on an oil company ship that sunk off the coast of Nigeria in May survived three harrowing days under the sea in an air pocket — and his dramatic rescue was caught on camera.
Harrison Okene survived on Coca Cola in the small air pocket, as the bodies of his shipmates floated nearby, with fish feasting on their flesh. Okene was the lone survivor of the 12 member crew. The salt water was undrinkable and began peeling the skin off Okene’s tongue and body.
“I kept thinking the water was going to fill up the room but it did not,” Okene said.
A South African scuba diving team, DCN Diving, discovered Okene as they were diving to retrieve bodies from the wreckage.
After being rescued, Okene had to spend another 60 hours in a decompression chamber, as the excess nitrogen in his system could have created deadly gas bubbles in his body.
Okene said the incident still haunts him. “When I am at home sometimes, it feels like the bed I am sleeping in is sinking. I think I’m still in the sea again. I jump up and I scream,” he told Reuters.