Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Trapped in an Underwater Air Bubble for Three Days (June '13)
Slate ^ | June 18 2013 | Rachel Nuwer

Posted on 12/04/2013 4:59:49 AM PST by Hoodat

Being buried alive is usually near the top of any worst-ways-to-die list. But how about being buried alive 100 feet below the ocean surface in a tiny pocket of air? For Harrison Okene, a 29-year-old Nigerian boat cook, this nightmare scenario became a reality for nearly three grueling days.

The story began on May 26 at about 4:30 a.m., when Okene got up to use the restroom. His vessel, a Chevron oil service tugboat called the AHT Jascon-4, swayed in the choppy Atlantic waters just off the coast of Nigeria. What caused the tugboat to capsize remains a mystery, though a Chevron official later blamed a “sudden ocean swell.”

Okene was thrown from the crew restroom as the ship turned over. Water streamed in and swept him through the vessel’s bowels until he found himself in the toilet of an officer’s cabin. As the ship settled on the ocean floor, the water stopped rising. For the next 60 hours, Okene—who was without food, water, or light—listened to the sounds of ocean creatures scavenging through the ship on his dead crewmates. Like a living Phlebas the Phoenician, he recounted his life’s events while growing more resigned to his fate.

Unbelievably, Okene survived his underwater ordeal long enough to be rescued. Basic physics, it turned out, was on Okene’s side the whole time—even if Poseidon wasn’t.

When Maxim Umansky, a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, read about Okene’s miraculous rescue, his interest was piqued. “For a physics question, it’s an interesting problem,” said Umansky. . .

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: miracleofgod
This happened back in June, but I just now heard about it on the radio. Article goes on to explain the science of it. There's a Henry's Law mention for all you ChemE aficionados.
1 posted on 12/04/2013 4:59:50 AM PST by Hoodat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Trapped alone in that confined space and in the dark for 3 days, I would have gone crazy


2 posted on 12/04/2013 5:09:50 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Miss Muffit suffered from arachnophobia.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Mary Jo Kopechne?


3 posted on 12/04/2013 5:13:07 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic
MaryJo was 98 feet closer to the surface than this guy.


4 posted on 12/04/2013 5:16:20 AM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

She needed a bigger bubble! Or, a gentleman to save her.


5 posted on 12/04/2013 5:21:17 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

...or just a MAN.


6 posted on 12/04/2013 5:25:43 AM PST by Roccus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat
One weird looking rescue ship:


7 posted on 12/04/2013 5:28:34 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat
I like the reference to Phlebas the Phonecian from Death By Water in T.S. Elliot's The Wasteland. That's not what you would normally expect from a reporter.
8 posted on 12/04/2013 5:29:49 AM PST by PUGACHEV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

The physics of putting a heavy crane on a ship and pulling up ships fascinates me.

How do they keep from capsizing?


9 posted on 12/04/2013 5:30:54 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Couldn’t this guy have swum underwater after begin trapped in the water to the outside of the boat and then rose 100 feet? That sounds like a lot of depth but it can be down within 30 seconds.


10 posted on 12/04/2013 5:31:06 AM PST by PJ-Comix (Obama's Rule #17: "Do whatever it f****** takes.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

My close friend, JB, told me a story years ago, when he was a commercial diver on the Gulf Coast. There was a Jack Up drilling rig being moved when a storm came up and sunk the rig. After the storm, He was tasked to search for the bodies of the unaccounted for crewmen. He said it was zero visability and he was searching by feel. He about came out of his skin, when a survivor grabbed his leg. He was able to rescue several crewmen, who were surviving in an air pocket.


11 posted on 12/04/2013 5:36:22 AM PST by Elderberry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Smithsonian used to have a show called Great Ships or Mega Ships or something. One of the ones they featured was the world’s heaviest lift cargo ship. They had outriggers that they deployed from the opposite side to counteract the weight. Using two onboard cranes they would inch the giant loads on board adjusting the outriggers and ballast tanks on the ship with every move.


12 posted on 12/04/2013 5:46:22 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

“Couldn’t this guy have swum underwater after begin trapped in the water to the outside of the boat and then rose 100 feet? That sounds like a lot of depth but it can be down within 30 seconds.”

The hard part would be negotiating a water-filled boat upside down in the dark before you ran out of air.


13 posted on 12/04/2013 5:46:29 AM PST by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

You’re assuming he knows how to swim...


14 posted on 12/04/2013 5:50:21 AM PST by 38special (For real, y'all.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

I’d want to use two. One on each side of the lift.


15 posted on 12/04/2013 5:51:10 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PLMerite

The mere thought of it makes my mind put up a blockade.


16 posted on 12/04/2013 5:51:49 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Yeah, just saw it yesterday. Seriously amazing.


17 posted on 12/04/2013 5:55:26 AM PST by real saxophonist (Looking for the joke with a microscope)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

The compressed air would have expanded in his lungs as he was surfacing. We would then explode like a balloon. Not a good way to go. Mr. Okene deserves a lot of credit for focusing on God and prayer as opposed to ill-advised schemes.


18 posted on 12/04/2013 5:57:32 AM PST by impimp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

Specs

http://www.emas.com/images/uploads/articles/Toucan_1.pdf


19 posted on 12/04/2013 5:58:56 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

At 100 ft, the pressure would have been approximately 4 times atmospheric pressure. Surfacing that quickly would have caused air to literally boil out of his blood.


20 posted on 12/04/2013 6:00:59 AM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Roccus

A sober one.....


21 posted on 12/04/2013 6:03:05 AM PST by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

The bends would have killed him in a quick ascent. After rescue, he spent 60 hours in a decompression chamber. At 100 ft., he’s at 43 psig compared to 0 psig at the surface. A lot of nitrogen is dissolved into his blood at that pressure.


22 posted on 12/04/2013 6:07:11 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat
What's the difference between this story and Obamacare?

There's no rescue with Obamacare.

23 posted on 12/04/2013 6:08:16 AM PST by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

Amazing I would say it is a miracle.


24 posted on 12/04/2013 6:10:12 AM PST by angcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: impimp

All submariners are trained in escape from depths of over 100 feet from an escape chamber. The air is compressed in the lungs at the depth, and there is plenty of air/O2 to come up. What MUST happen is that one must exhale all the way to the surface, and not hold one’s breathe. Holding breath means expansion of lungs (and gases in the blood), which will kill an individual by bubbling in the blood, or explosion of the lungs. Many is (or were) the WWII and other submariners who could tell you some horror stories about this.
The Momsen lung was designed to assist escape from a submarine at depth and provide support to breathe out as needed— and saved a lot of sailors. Invented by “Swede” Momsen.


25 posted on 12/04/2013 6:17:38 AM PST by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom
he’s at 43 psig compared to 0 psig at the surface

I came up with 299 kPa gauge. I can assure you that my calculation was easier. I loathe having to do any calculations in ft-lbs, psi, or BTUs.

26 posted on 12/04/2013 6:20:16 AM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

There are tanks that are flooded with water to give it weight opposite the lift or water is pumped out to give it bouncy on the side with the lift.

The pumps are big enough that they will flood or drain the tanks even with the load being swung from one side of the ship or barge around to the other side.


27 posted on 12/04/2013 6:23:21 AM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix

When the lights go out on a ship you can slap yourself and not know who hit you.

Complete darkness.

Trying to find your way around in that kind of darkness even when upright on the surface is tough.


28 posted on 12/04/2013 6:30:33 AM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

27.7 inches of water ~ 1 psig. Easy to do. Learned it in ME and the boiler business (dealing with flue draft) many, many years ago. It’s one of those things that just sticks with you.

Even if memory fails me, there’s always http://www.onlineconversion.com/pressure.htm to assist.


29 posted on 12/04/2013 6:45:37 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: angcat; ProtectOurFreedom
The money quote is at the very end of the article:

As one of his friends understatedly wrote on Okene’s Facebook wall, “I feel sorry for u that happened man.” Dozens of other friends and family members thank God and Jesus for looking out for Okene, though perhaps a hat tip to physics is in order, too.

30 posted on 12/04/2013 6:49:42 AM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

I watched the video yesterday - a very lucky man. The South African rescue divers were superb, first rate.


31 posted on 12/04/2013 6:55:50 AM PST by dainbramaged (My dog can drive, just not very well.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

bookmark


32 posted on 12/04/2013 7:02:18 AM PST by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat
Dozens of other friends and family members thank God and Jesus for looking out for Okene, though perhaps a hat tip to physics is in order, too.

And just who do you think invented the law of physics and all the other laws of our universe?

33 posted on 12/04/2013 7:26:17 AM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: calex59
I once heard someone explain the universe as being inside some BioSphere project with the controls consisting of 12 dials. Each dial represented a unique physical constant. For example, one of the constants was the mass-to-energy conversion that takes place when hydrogen fuses into helium (approx 7% of total mass). Another was the Bozeman constant. Another was Planck's constant. If one was to adjust any of the twelve constants by as much as 1 percentage point, the Universe would cease to exist.

Yeah, I think God knew what he was doing when it came to physics.

34 posted on 12/04/2013 8:06:44 AM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

I thought one atmosphere was 14.7 psi or 1013 millibars.


35 posted on 12/04/2013 7:57:26 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson