Nigerian Man Who Survived Three Days at Bottom of Atlantic Ocean Credits God for Survival

okeneLAGOS, Nigeria — A Nigerian man who miraculously survived after spending three days at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is crediting God for sustaining his life.

In May of this year, 12 men aboard the Jacson 4 found themselves in the fight of their life when their tugboard capsized off the African coast. One man, Harrison Odjegba Okene, who was the cook for the team, was in the bathroom when the incident occurred. It was very early—approximately 4:30 a.m.

Okene told reporters this week that after the ship turned over, he searched for an air pocket, piled a couple of mattresses on a rack and waited—for three days. He was dressed in only his boxers and could hear sea creatures fighting over their next meal.

However, the night before, Okene’s wife had texted him some Psalms, as the couple is Christian. He recalled those Psalms as he waited patiently 100 feet below the surface.

“I started calling on the name of God,” Okene told the Nation. “I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalms 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed.”

“O God, by your name, save me,” he recited. “The Lord sustains my life.”

As Okene waited, temperatures dropped to freezing and oxygen levels began running low. But he trusted in God.

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On the third day, a group of divers with DCN Diving located Okene. As they had only recovered dead bodies thus far, at first, they thought they had located another corpse. But when Okene grasped onto one of the diver’s hands, the team was stunned.

“What’s that? He’s alive! He’s alive!” a voice can be heard exclaiming on video footage of the rescue, which went viral this week. “What is your name?”

They then provided Okene with an oxygen mask and transported him to a decompression chamber before bringing him to the surface.

“It was frightening for everybody,” DCN project manager Tony Walker, who watched the rescue unfold from a central control room at the surface, told CTV News. “[It was frightening] for the guy that was trapped because he didn’t know what was happening. It was a shock for the diver while he was down there looking for bodies, and we (in the control room) shot back when the hand grabbed him on the screen.”

He told the publication that Okene would not have lasted much longer had the team not found him when they did.

“He was incredibly lucky he was in an air pocket but he would have had a limited time [before] … he wouldn’t be able to breathe anymore,” Walker said.

The divers also spent longer than usual searching underwater that day, which added to the wonder of the rescue.

But Okene says that he believes that God spared his life and is said to be seen giving thanks to God in the recorded footage.

“Good job, my friend,” the rescue supervisor declared as the team prepared to bring Okene to the surface. “You’re a survivor!”


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  • Linson

    How good to have a wife like his, How good to have a faith like his. How good it would be if all the world would trust in The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. How good it would be if I build the faith I have in Jesus.

  • Sir Tainly

    I’ll happily thank God for his life, but I’m certain that Harrison Odjegba Okene will for a much longer time than I will on his behalf. 😀 😀

  • G Jordan

    I thank God for his unconditional love and mercy!

  • Andrew Edelman

    Praise the Holy name of Jesus Christ! God has truly blessed this man with a GREAT Wife, GREAT Faith & his LIFE to lead others to our Lord & Savior.

  • Audri Molander

    The day of The Lord comes sooner for some than others,
    but for all of us it comes like a thief in the night! I’m sure Okene
    had no idea what would happen to him that day! If any of us were trapped
    at the bottom of the ocean like him, we would be praying for God to save us!
    he was able to take comfort in the word of God by faith! None of us can
    know the mind of God or why he allows tragedy to
    befall whomever it does! One thing we can know
    Is that He is our Father, our Savior and our Lord!
    He loves us more than we can imagine! Our
    earthly life is a beautiful gift from Him, but not
    His greatest! Our life with Him, given out of
    pure love, is the greatest gift of all…it is Himself!!!
    He waits for all of us, wanting all of us to accept Him
    and enter into relationship with him! Praised be His Mighty Name!

  • Bihem PH

    God, strengthen the faith i have in You, as You did in the life Okene & live a testimony in the mouth of those that trusted in YOU.