Footage of the dramatic rescue of a Nigerian cook trapped underwater for almost three days under a capsized boat has just emerged.
According to Skynews, the incident occurred in May but the footage has only just come to light.
Nick van Heerden was part of the South African scuba diving team on a mission to recover bodies from the sunken Jascon 4 when a hand reached out to him while he was searching the tugboat.
The voice of rescue co-ordinator Colby Werrett could be heard, shouting: “He’s alive, he’s alive!”
In the footage, the Nigerian, named as Harrison Okene, could be seen sitting in his underwear in the corner of a room. He was kept alive thanks to an air pocket formed when the tugboat capsized.
He reportedly survived for almost three days with no food and a few cans of fizzy drink, trapped 30 metres under the sea.
All his colleagues, 11 of them, had died when the boat capsized and sank off the Nigerian coast.
The rescue team reassured Mr Okene and got him to safety by equipping him with a diving mask and safety harness.
Okene’s rescuers were said to be impressed by how calm he was during the rescue operation.
At one point Mr Werrett asks Mr Okene his rank and on hearing that he was the crew’s chef, the co-ordinator responds: “You’re the cook? They always survive” – an apparent reference to a baker who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
Mr Van Heerden then steers Mr Okene out of the sunken vessel and into a diving bell.
An exhausted-looking Mr Okene was happy to pose for photos with his rescuers who also included Andre Erasmus, Darryl Oosthuizen, Guido Graff, Colby Werrett and Tony Walker.