As reported earlier, tragedy struck offshore Escravos, Nigeria penultimate Sunday when the anchor handling tug Jacson 4 sank in heavy weather.
Divers recovered 10 bodies from the sunken ship and one 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 metres.
“The fact this person survived is incredible,’ commented former United States Navy Salvage Officer Patrick Keenan. “After spending two days at 30 metres 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.”
While the vessel owner, Sea Trucks Group, did not mention how 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 stated: “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 two days. It was amazing to be part of this rescue and my sympathy is with the families who lost there love ones.”
Sea Trucks Group noted: “Mr. Harrison has been brought to the surface safely and he continues to respond to treatment.”
The Chief Executive Officers of West African Ventures, Jacques Roomans, said: “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”.
Ten bodies have been found during a rescue operation off the coast of Nigeria after a tugboat contracted by Chevron sank penultimate Sunday in rough seas, the vessel’s owner said last Friday.
The Jascon-4 capsized early that fateful Sunday at a mooring point around 30 kilometres (20 miles) off oil-producing Delta State.
Of 12 people who had been on board, one was rescued alive and another is still missing.
“The search and rescue operation that has been under way since 26 May has had to be stopped for safety reasons,” the ship’s owner West African Ventures said in a statement.
“The vessel, which is located some 30 metres under water in an upside-down position, has become so unstable that the risk of injury to our rescue divers has become unacceptably high,” said West African Ventures, which is owned by Sea Trucks Group.
Chevron operates offshore and onshore joint ventures with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and says it spends around $3 billion a year on its Nigerian operations.
The UnitedStates (US) energy firm’s 2012 net daily production from Nigeria was 238,000 barrels of crude oil, 165 million cubic feet of natural gas and 4,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas.
Offshore work can be dangerous, as sailors face Nigeria pirate and militant attacks.
Industrial accidents happen as well.
A sailor drowned in 2010 after falling overboard from a boat working for French oil firm Total SA.