Harrison Okene, trapped for three days at the bottom of the sea after his tugboat capsized off the coast of Nigeria, kept shaking his head in relief when the dive team suddenly showed up back in May.
The South African divers were on a body recovery mission when they found the boat's 29-year-old cook in a cramped, debris-strewn air pocket 30m underwater.
Mr Okene had no food or water and managed to survive on Coca-Cola.
"He's alive! He's alive!" a senior member of the dive team is heard saying in headcam footage of the May 28 rescue, which has surfaced on LiveLeak for the first time.
"You mustn't panic eh?" he then tells Mr Okene.
"We're going to take you in the water and take you to the [diving] bell and then we're going to bring you home".
Mr Okene, the boat's sole survivor, was rescued by chance when he responded to the distant sound of nearby divers who were expecting to recover the bodies of his shipmates.
He was strapped into diving equipment and led up to a diving bell which took him to the surface.
Mr Okene then spent two days in a decompression chamber before doctors gave him the all clear.
"All around me was just black and noisy," he later told The Guardian.
"I was crying and calling on Jesus to rescue me, I prayed so hard. I was so hungry and thirsty and cold and I was just praying to see some kind of light."