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I Was Trapped Underwater for 3 Days, and Here’s How I Survived

Surviving underwater for long hours without a breathing device might sound like the unthinkable. However, in 2011, a Nigerian cook defied all odds and survived for almost 3 days in a sunken boat at the bottom of the ocean. Harrison was in total darkness, all alone, and completely uncertain about his faith. But he chose to remain calm and was determined to use every tiny resource he had in order to make it out alive.

Bright Side wants to share this striking true story that overwhelmed us with all kinds of emotions and ended up being a true lesson of endurance and courage.

The tragic incident

The 29-year-old Harrison Okene was the cook on a tug boat that was stabilizing an oil tanker on the coast of Nigeria. He and the other 11 crew members on board were faced with tragedy when, all of a sudden, an ocean swell, or rogue wave, slammed into the boat and turned it upside down. As a result, the vessel began to sink 100 feet below the surface of the ocean.

Harrison Okene’s ’’lucky’’ coincidence

The incident happened around 4:30 a.m., and all of the crew members were sleeping inside their rooms. As usual, all their doors were locked, which was a safety precaution against pirates who used to regularly rob and abduct vessels in that region. In this case, this safety custom had turned against them because they were trapped in their rooms and asleep. One person escaped this destiny, and that was Harrison, who had woken up to go to the bathroom and was there when the boat turned over and began to sink.

60 hours in an air pocket

Harrison was abruptly tossed from the bathroom. He recalled, “I was confused, and everywhere was dark as I was thrown from one end of the small cubicle to another.” He then finally settled in a part of the sunken vessel where he was lucky enough to find an air bubble. He also found 2 mattresses and stacked them on top of each other in order to be above the rising water and inside the air pocket. This is where he stayed for 60 hours, with no food or water.

Surviving against all odds

Surely, it was the air pocket that saved Harrison’s life but, according to science, he would have been ’’unconscious from carbon dioxide’’ if he had stayed there any longer. Luckily, around 7 p.m., 60 hours after the incident, a rescue team was searching for them and a diver spotted Harrison sitting on the mattresses. When asked how he managed to remain so calm, Harrison said, “At that point, I knew there was nothing I could do for myself again. God had done the most part. I just had to wait and see.”

What do you think of Harrison Okene’s story? What was the most challenging experience that made you even stronger when you overcame it?

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