U.S. Navy rescues two women stranded at sea for five months

October 27, 2017 12:39 pm

 Two women and their dogs have been rescued after being lost at sea for months while trying to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti.

The U.S. Navy rescued the women on Wednesday after a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted them about 900 miles southeast of Japan, well off their planned course, and alerted the U.S. Coast Guard.



The USS Ashland arrived early the next day, the Navy said in a statement released Thursday.

The women, identified by the Navy as Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, both of Honolulu, lost their engine in bad weather in late May but believed they could still reach Tahiti using their sails.

“They saved our lives,” said Appel through the Navy release. “The pride and smiles we had when we saw (U.S. Navy) on the horizon was pure relief.”

In a phone call with news media from the Ashland, Appel said they had sent a distress signal for 98 days with no response, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
“It was very depressing and very hopeless, but it’s the only thing you can do, so you do what you can do,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

She also said the ordeal was life-changing, Hawaii News Now reported: “There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night.”

AP

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