Okene"s rescuers were looking only for bodies once they came upon him. When the diver experienced his hand he sassist ‘corpse, corpse, a corpse’ into his microphone


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AP Photo/DCN Diving Okene was the only survivor in a crew of 12 when the watercraft capsized in May. It still haunts him. In addition through being saddled via survivors’ guilt, some Nigerians think he conserved himself with babsence magic.

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The Jascon 4 was relaxing on the seabed upside dvery own at a depth of about 100 feet (30 metres).

The chubby cook survived on only one bottle of Coke. Two flashlights that he had uncovered gave up after much less than sooner or later. In the dark, he had actually virtually given up hope after three days as soon as he unexpectedly heard the sound of a watercraft, a hammering on the side of the vessel and then, after a while, observed lights and also the increasing waters approximately him bubbling.

He sassist he knew it had actually to be a diver, yet he was on the wrong finish of the cabin.

“He came in but he was also rapid, so I experienced the light however before I could acquire to him, he was already out. I tried to follow him in the pitch darkness however I couldn’t map him, so I went back.”


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His rescuers from the Dutch agency DCN Diving were looking only for bodies and currently had actually reextended four corpses as soon as they came upon Okene.

When the diver reverted, Okene had actually to swim aget to reach him and also still he did not check out him. “So I tapped him at the back of his neck, so he was afraid.” When the diver saw his hand he shelp “corpse, corpse, a corpse,” right into his microphone, reporting up to the rescue vessel.

“When he brought his hand cshed to me, I pulled on his hand,” Okene sassist.

“He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive!” Okene remembers hearing.

Okene defined a surreal scene after the diver arised right into the air pocket.

“I knew as soon as he gave me water he was observing me (to see) if I’m really humale, because he was afraid,” he told the AP last Thursday.


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The diver first provided hot water to warm him up, then attached him to an oxygen mask. Once conserved from sunken boat, he was put into a decompression chamber for 60 hours prior to he can safely return to the surface.

Until his rescue, Okene thought his colleagues have to have escaped. The tug was among three towing a Chevron oil tanker in Nigeria’s oil-wealthy Delta waters, yet on May 26 tright here was a sudden lurch and also it keeled over.

“I heard human being shouting, I felt the vessel going dvery own, going dvery own, I heard a voice saying ’Is this vessel sinking or what?’ … I remained in the WC (toilet) and the WC dropped on my head, things started falling on my head … My colleagues were shouting ’God aid me, God help me, God assist me.’ Then after a while I never heard from them (again).”


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When recounting the rescue at his local church, the pastor asked him if he had actually used black magic to make it through.

“I was so surprised! How might a man of God be saying this?” Okene said, his voice climbing in disidea.

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AP Photo/DCN Diving He didn’t go to the funerals of his colleagues bereason he feared their families’ reactions — Nigerians being mainly very religious yet additionally superstitious.

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“I couldn’t go bereason I didn’t recognize what the household will certainly say, reasoning ’Why is he the just one to survive,”’ shelp Okene.

It’s a question that has actually shaken his steadrapid belief. “Eextremely week I ask (God) ’Why just me? Why did my colleagues need to die?”’

His wife Akpovona Okene, 27, sassist he still suffers nightmares. “When he is sleeping, he has actually that shock, he will just wake up in the night saying ’Honey check out, the bed is sinking, we are in the sea.”

Okene said he made a pact through God once he was at the bottom of the ocean: “When I was under the water I told God: If you rescue me, I will certainly never go earlier to the sea again, never before.”