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Alive, alone, in the abyss
June 12, 2013 7:28 PM   Subscribe

"I could perceive the dead bodies of my crew were nearby. I could smell them. The fish came in and began eating the bodies. I could hear the sound. It was horror." -- Harrison Okene

Variations on a theme:
Light: Outdoor Magazine's Top 25 Incredible Survival Stories (slideshow).
Dark: Edgar Allan Poe's The Premature Burial.
posted by Diablevert (31 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
My god.
posted by Decimask at 7:44 PM on June 12, 2013


Are you fucking kidding me?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:49 PM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2013


Do not read that article if you're claustrophobic.

Oh god I thought Das Boot was bad for me.
posted by winna at 8:00 PM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


just...wow. Is it wrong my first thought was that he should eat as much sushi as possible as revenge?
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 8:01 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quite an amazing story.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:01 PM on June 12, 2013


Right? Holy shit. This was something I had absolutely never conceived of being terrified out of my mind about, and now that I have conceived it has instantly moved up the charts, number one with a bullet, on the my personal list of fates worse than death. Can you imagine? The absolute blackness, and the noises, and wondering wondering wondering if every breath you took was somehow shrinking that bubble of air...
posted by Diablevert at 8:02 PM on June 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't blame him if he never got on a boat - ANY boat - ever again.
posted by dbiedny at 8:14 PM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Part of the time I was thinking that the air bubble had formed in the toilet which had pushed it from John Krakaeur to a Park Chan-wook movie. I hope Okene spends the rest of his life on dry land and that he gets a generous compensation package before he has to start working in one of the many chemical manufacturing plants in Warri (or steel or oil; I would hazard a guess that there probably aren't a lot of white collar jobs available to him).
posted by dubusadus at 8:19 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Outdoor mag list is good, most of those are books and/or movies (all but 6 I have read/watched). The story of David Steeves is pretty cool but (now) obscure, ready for a movie/book.
posted by stbalbach at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


This story flipped me out a bit. How did he not panic to death, or panic to the point of trying to swim out (and death)?

I look forward to a really bad film being made of this.
posted by pompomtom at 8:34 PM on June 12, 2013


I'm surprised that pocket of air could sustain him for that long.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:36 PM on June 12, 2013


Well, this guy's calculations appear to have been shown to be incorrect. (He says you'd need a room 12*12*8 feet to survive 2.6 days).
posted by jacalata at 8:44 PM on June 12, 2013


Can't help but feel the diver must have had quite a scare too. Investigating what you take to be a boat full of dead people, hearing a mysterious knocking from inside, and then being tapped on the shoulder by a staggering, staring form with skin falling off. Hurrrrh! *shudders*
posted by Drexen at 8:52 PM on June 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


The worst bit is that another tugboat, the Vorga, passed Ozone, and declined to rescue him.

/obligatory Alfred Bester joke reference. Come on, I can't be the only one who thought of "The Stars My Destination".
posted by Mr. Excellent at 8:56 PM on June 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


I kill you dirty, Vorga.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:13 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


jacalata: "Well, this guy's calculations appear to have been shown to be incorrect. (He says you'd need a room 12*12*8 feet to survive 2.6 days)."

Well, his calculations are based on a cubic meter of air at sea level. THis guy was 30 meters down, so a cubic meter of air down there has about four times the oxygen.
posted by notsnot at 9:21 PM on June 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


What the hell happened to the maritime tradition of offering assistance to vessels in distress?
posted by arcticseal at 9:30 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I find so incredible is that he managed to keep calm (calm enough to survive at least) while knowing that it was highly unlikely anyone would come for him.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 10:27 PM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


arcticseal, Mr. Excellent was merely making a literary reference.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tiger tiger came to my mind as well. What an completely horrible situation — besides the trauma and so on, I wonder how his existential outlook has changed.
posted by monocultured at 2:19 AM on June 13, 2013


[Okene huddled in an air bubble, recalls his shipmate's invitation] "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."
posted by three blind mice at 2:35 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...I don't know what stopped the water from filling that room. I was calling on God. He did it. It was a miracle..."

And still you atheists are not convinced.
posted by Segundus at 3:29 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gah....

shudders

whimpers


Not sure if I could do it at all.
posted by Samizdata at 4:13 AM on June 13, 2013


That poor man.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:11 AM on June 13, 2013


Sweet Jesus.
posted by Gelatin at 7:31 AM on June 13, 2013


Segundus, nope! Infinite cruelty, god must have, to kill all those other souls and save one. Many people attribute survival against tough odds to god, but not death to god. Puzzles me, certainly. I'm sure many people die pleading to god to save them.

Horrifying story. I feel badly for this man. Nightmares for life, I'm sure.
posted by agregoli at 8:28 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The way it was written it sounds like his skin was peeling off as he was being interviewed.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:00 AM on June 13, 2013


agregoli - I think it's because the dead have no thanks to give.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:39 AM on June 13, 2013


He is SOOOOOOOO lucky he had to take a shit. God bless him.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:08 PM on June 13, 2013


My God. That's ... gah.

And, yeah, reminiscent of "Stars My Destination"
posted by rmd1023 at 7:35 PM on June 13, 2013


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