Okene was the only one of 12 crew members who survived when the Jacon-4 tugboat capsized on May 26 in heavy Atlantic storm swells after assisting an oil tanker that was filling up at a Chevron platform. Divers recovered 10 other bodies; one other crew member was never found.
The young cook was in a bathroom at 4:50 a.m. on May 26 when the tugboat began to turn over and water started pouring in. Okene forced open the bathroom door and was soon swept down a hallway into another bathroom, where he survived by breathing from a small air bubble and keeping his head above the slowly rising water. It was May 28 by the time Okene saw the light mounted on the diver’s head and reached out to grab him.