jascon 4 tugboat sinks chevron

Jascon 4, Image: West African Ventures

As reported earlier this week, tragedy struck offshore Escravos, Nigeria on Sunday 26 May when the anchor handling tug Jacson 4 sank in heavy weather.  Divers recovered 10 bodies from the sunken ship and 1 is still missing.

Miraculously however, the ship’s cook, Mr. Okene Harrison, was found alive after spending roughly two days inside the sunken vessel at a depth of 30 meters.

“The fact this person survived is incredible,’ commented former US Navy Salvage Officer Patrick Keenan. “After spending two days at 30 meters of depth, he had become saturated, meaning his body had absorbed all the pressurized gases and equalized with the surrounding water pressure. Bringing him to surface from that depth, and after having been saturated at 3 or 4 atmospheres, could easily have killed him.

In saturation diving, sat divers are brought to the surface from depth via a pressurized diving bell, which mates up to a pressurized chamber on deck. This allows the “saturated” divers to live and work above and below the surface at a steady pressure state for an indefinite period of time, and most importantly, to be brought to the surface safely.”

Update: Sea Trucks Group didn’t mention how Mr. Harrison was brought to the surface, however Paul McDonald, one of the Dynamic Positioning Officers on board the Dive Support Vessel that was involved with the recovery and rescue mission commented on our Facebook page saying:

“All on board could not believe how cool he was when being rescued. The divers put a diving helmet and harness onto him and he followed the diver to the bell were he was then taken to deck level and kept in the chamber and decompressed for 2 days. It was amazing to be part of this rescue and my sympathy is with the families who lost there love ones.”

“Mr. Harrison has been brought to the surface safely and he continues to respond to treatment,” noted Sea Trucks Group in an emailed statement on 31 May.

Mr. Harrison’s survival will hopefully serve to lessen the grief of the families of the crewmembers who were lost this past weekend.

Jacques Roomans, the CEO of West African Ventures commented: “The families of all crew members have been informed of the outcome of the rescue operation and West African Ventures will continue to give all support possible to the families of our deceased and missing colleagues. We extend our deepest sympathy to all of them”.

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