VIDEO: 'He's alive!' Man survives 60 hours in underwater air pocket

Newly released video captures the startling, eerie moment when a rescue diver discovers a man shivering at the bottom of the sea after surviving nearly 60 hours in an underwater air pocket in a capsized tugboat.

It's a scene that unfolds like a Hollywood thriller as a hand -- a live hand -- juts out in front of the diver traversing the murky insides of the vessel, where he is fully expecting to find corpses.


"He's alive! He's alive!" the diver says, relaying the astonishing news to a colleague on the surface who is helping him navigate the crash site. A colleague can be heard urging the diver to comfort the man on the dramatic footage.

"Just reassure him. Pat him on the shoulder."

The rescued man has been identified as Harrison Okene, the cook on the tugboat that capsized back in May in heavy swells. His 11 crew members perished when the boat went down off Nigeria.

Okene somehow managed to survive in the frigid waters -- wearing only shorts -- by finding a small air pocket. As the minutes turned into hours, and then days, he waited as water slowly but surely seeped in.

"All around me was just black, and noisy," he told the Guardian. "I was crying and calling on Jesus to rescue me. I prayed so hard. I was so hungry and thirsty and cold, and I was just praying to see some kind of light."

How he survived is a bit of a mystery, experts say. The Guardian quotes Paul MacDonald, one of the officers involved in the rescue, as being surprised at how long the air pocket lasted: "How it wasn't full of water is anyone's guess. I would say someone was looking after him."

Be sure to read the entirety of the Guardian's in-depth interview with Okene, which goes into detail about the delicate navigation required to bring Okene to the surface. Okene is said to be writing a book about his ordeal.

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