Man Survives Nearly 3 Days Submerged in Capsized Boat

Joe Brock/Reuters

The chef of a tugboat that capsized spent more than two days underwater in the submerged vessel by surviving in an airpocket.

Okene Harrison is the one of a tug's 12 person crew aboard the Jascon 4 to survive last month's tragedy off the coast of Nigeria. He was eventually rescued by a team of divers.

Harrison was in the restroom when the boat capsized the morning of May 26. He found an air pocket and remained there until divers from the rescue company DCN rescued him on May 28.

"Once at the accident site, the divers discovered that the wreck was upside down, and the cook on board the Jascon 4 was indeed trapped in an air pocket in a still intact compartment. After 62 hours trapped in the air pocket, he was brought to the surface safe and well, by the divers from DCN," DCN said in a statement on their website.

According to a report from the Nigerian newspaper, "The Nation," Harrison groped around the vessel in the dark until he found a light vest, and located two mattresses, stacking them on top of each other and using tools to build a wall to stop the water from drowning him.

The tugboat capsized while it was stabilizing an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria. Of the 12 person crew, 10 bodies have been recovered and one is still missing. The tugboat, according to a statement from its owner West African Ventures, is currently 98 feet under water. The company has launched an investigation into the incident.

West African Ventures terminated its search and rescue operation on May 31 for safety purposes, making Harrison the sole survivor.

The Nation reported earlier this week that Harrison attended a church service discussing his ordeal and giving thanks for his survival at home in Nigeria.

Harrison could not be reached for comment.