Video & Story: Modern Day Jonah Spends Three Days Trapped In Sunken Boat

Video Below


Psalm 69:13-14

13 But I pray to you, Lord,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
    do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
    from the deep waters.



I first heard about this amazing story back in December of 2013—and I was reminded of it again recently.

An Associate Press article I found on Fox News explains it succinctly:


Entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat for three days, Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle.

The Nigerian cook survived by breathing an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket.

As the temperature dropped to freezing, Okene, dressed only in boxer shorts, recited the last psalm his wife had sent by text message, sometimes called the Prayer for Deliverance: "Oh God, by your name, save me. ... The Lord sustains my life."

Fox News 

While Harrison prayed in the freezing, pitch black of the sunken vessel—100 feet underwater—a team was dispatched above for a "recovery operation" to retrieve the ship's crew's bodies—taking them about 72 hours to get to the site.

Then as a rescue diver—who was in contact with the crew above and video taping his progress—made his way through the dark, murky water looking for bodies—suddenly the diver saw a hand reaching out to him—and it grabbed hold of him— giving him a good fright.


Harrison had been found—and what was a recovery operation now became a rescue mission—and the team now had to figure out how to get the cook back to the surface.

A Screen Capture From The Video Below:  Harrison Right After He Was Found Alive
A Screen Capture From The Video Below:  Harrison Right After He Was Found Alive

Eventually they were able to get a breathing mask to him—and could then move him to a submersible. 

Harrison had survived but his skin was badly damaged by three days in salt water—and he'd had nothing to eat or drink except for one soda pop.

But God had sustained Harrison—keeping his mind calm—and filling him with hope to keep holding on in the icy blackness. 

He needed to spend 60 hours in decompression chamber—and for anyone wondering as I did:  Had he panicked and tried to swim to the surface—air expanding in his lungs would have killed him.


If you're like me, as you watch the video, you'll feel yourself short of breath imagining being there.

A quick note about the diver's voice:  The diver is using a mixture of helium and oxygen.


Another very good article about the story can be found here:


A commenter on the video below added the following information:

"I read up a bit on this, and the long list of occurrences that allowed Harrison to survive are pretty mind-blowing. 

First, he just happened to be going to the bathroom when the ship flipped and sank. Everyone who was in the sleeping quarters where Harrison slept died. 

He happened to get pushed by the running water towards a high and enclosed point in the middle of the ship, which is believed to be the only point where a large, stable air bubble formed. 

Given the dimensions of the air bubble, he actually should have died of CO2 poisoning from his own exhaling after about 30 hours, but he kept jumping back into the water to search for supplies which disturbed the surface of the water and caused it to absorb more CO2 (he had no idea he was doing this at the time). 

Also, one of the worst aspects about his situation, the fact that he was 100 feet underwater, is actually what caused the air to be compressed enough where that small room could keep him alive. If he had only gone down 15 feet, he only would have had about 25 hours or so of air. 

It is quite an amazing set of circumstances."


Hope you find the video below as fascinating as I did—and let it remind you that God answers even when it seems hopeless:


  1. Absolutely amazing testimony and video, and truly wonderful how God guided Harrison to be in the right place before the ship sank and to do all the right things before he was rescued. God truly sees the end from the beginning.

    1. So true, Brenda! Though not as dramatic — I look back on my own life and see God's Hand protecting me from dangerous situations — and moving me into to place for opportunities I'd prayed about. It's awesome to serve our wonderful Creator! :)

    2. I do too. I always tell people not to worry about 'delay' after experiencing something concerning this. I was on my way home from visiting my mother years ago and was going to take the coastal road back to where we lived. Something told me not to go that way, even though I wanted to, so I took the other longer road home down a long country road. When I came out onto the main road I pulled into a garage to get fuel. As I went in to pay, a car pulled up and a man came into the office saying that there had been a terrible accident on the coastal road. Would I have been in it if I had gone that way? I believe it was God re directing me.

    3. Awesome, Brenda. I wonder how many times like that will be revealed to us when we stand before God. Thanks for sharing your experience. I pray it will Bless many and cause them to look to Jesus for their salvation in both this world and the next!