Harrison Odjegba Okene, a Nigerian ship chef, worked on the Jascon 4, a tugboat that crashed at the Atlantic Water’s Gulf of Guinea while stabilizing an oil tanker at a Chevron podium.
When the tragic incident occurred, they were around 32 kilometres off the coast of Nigeria. The ship sank to the bottom of the sea, approximately 98 feet below sea level.
Okene mustered his whole remaining strength and proceeded towards the technician’s room. He made a structure out of a mattress and other stuff in the room to survive. This helped Okene keep his upper torso above the water. Think what he was going through being stuck in a sunken ship.
The divers, Nicolaas van Heerden, Darryl Oosthuizen, and Andre Erasmus from South Africa, started upon the difficult challenge of searching for any survivors.
The divers were certainly anticipating the victims of the accident. However, they didn’t know that Okene was still alive, waiting for help. Okene was not ready to give up.
He recalled the final message he got from his wife while holding on for life. The news that his wife, Akpovona, had sent him was Psalm 54, popularly known as the Rescue Prayer, from the Bible. “Oh God, by your name, save me,” it says. My life is sustained by the Lord.”
Odjegba was preparing to meet his Creator, the God. However, it appears that his creator had other intentions for him.
The divers reached the destroyed ship. They searched for survivors everywhere. While circling the sunken ship, one diver saw a hand extending towards him. He immediately told other divers about it through the radio.
“There’s a survivor!” There’s a survivor!” he said. “Keep him there, and maintain his position we’re coming,” he got the reply through the radio.
The diver caught Okene with his hand while following his buddy diver’s directions. He instructed Harrison to drink some water and had a short conversation to calm him down. Next, the diver assembles all of the diving equipment needed for Okene.
While the divers took Harrison out and up, Harrison was instructed to take deep breaths to calm down. Okene is an exceptional survivor! He’s calm and collected, and he trusts his rescuers totally. He simply intends to leave.
One of the viewers said,
“I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible that was. We saw Harrison in the video because the lights of divers were on. The whole time he was there, he had nothing to see by. When he changed compartments, he was swimming in pitch blackness. He couldn’t see if there were air pockets or not. Just that could have killed him. Or staying in the first room could have killed him. Staying there any longer would have killed him too. The rescue divers could have easily missed him. It’s not like he could chase them very far until he ran out of air. He is lucky to come out alive in one piece.”
That ship might have been Harrison’s final resting place. But he continued to hold on with the hope of reuniting with his family and children. However, I believe a job shift is necessary.
The lives of the rescue divers were also in danger, but they did their job perfectly, saving Harrison and returning safely. Anyway, this has to be one of the most miraculous saves ever.