WARRI, NIGERIA – Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started off the Nigerian coast aboard a tugboat ship.
The boat was known as the Jascon 4, with 12 men straight and true. It towed a Chevron tanker, on a job to be the last for the crew.
You’ve probably guessed by now that this is not the story of Gilligan’s Island.
But it is the amazing, true story of the rescue of Harrison Okene, the only one to survive the capsizing of the tug back in May.
Nearly three days after the accident, a diver searching for bodies saw a frightening form emerge from the murky deep.
It was the hand of Harrison Okene, who had found an air pocket that allowed him to survive.
The light from the diver’s mask broke the pitch-black darkness to reveal the 29-year-old Okene, shivering in the freezing water, his skin beginning to peel.
He told rescuers he was in the toilet when the tug capsized, leaving him 100 feet below the surface, breathing from a small pocket of air, and listening to the fish feast on the bodies of his friends.
The ship’s cook and the diver took about a half-an-hour to reach the surface.
He then spent the next two days in a decompression chamber.
Now he and his rescuer have a big fish story to tell, only he’s the one who got away.