We sometimes hear about sailors that go down with the ship. In fact, captains are often taught to do so as a matter of maritime pride, and for centuries, a captain going down with the ship has been something that is expected. Then again, very few of us have ever been in a situation where we were on a sinking ship and had to make the decision as to whether we would be going down with it or if we would try to survive. Perhaps it was even something that you thought about, but for some sailors that were on a tugboat off the Nigeria coast, it became a reality.
The tugboat was out in stormy weather and the boat was capsized by a huge wave. Although the crew was likely struggling to stay afloat, it wasn’t long before they found themselves in the water and going down with the ship. Most of the members of the crew were in their rooms locked away at the time that the boat was capsized but that wasn’t the case with Harrison Okene. He was in the bathroom at the time that the boat started sinking, and he managed to get to the engineer’s office and find a pocket of air.
It wasn’t long before the ship was on the ocean floor but Harrison was able to stay alive in the air pocket. It was completely black at the bottom of the ocean and he didn’t have any concept of time. To him, it was as if he had been there for 12 hours but in reality, it was three days. The situation got even gotten worse because sharks were now inside of the ship and eating his former crewmates.
Suddenly, Harrison heard something moving in the boat and he saw lights. He put his hand under the water and grabbed hold of another hand. Much to their surprise, there was somebody alive and they found him during the recovery mission. One of the rescuers went into Harrison inside of the air pocket, fitted him with his own scuba device, and brought him back to the surface. It’s an amazing story that I’m sure he will be telling for the rest of his life.