Two Women Rescued After Being Stranded At Sea For 5 Months

Posted October 31, 2017

Two American women and their dogs are safe after a frightening ordeal at sea.

Two women who had been adrift in the Pacific Ocean for almost five months after their sailboat was damaged have been rescued, according to the U.S. Navy.

The two sailors only started issuing distress calls two months later and "long past" their original estimate for arrival in Tahiti. "Three would get on one side and two would get on the other side, and they would make waves and try to knock down the boat".

After almost five months lost at sea, a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted their boat and contacted the Coast Guard.

She and Ms Fuiava were to spend about 18 days getting to Tahiti, then another six months or so cruising the thousands of small islands that dot the South Pacific before returning to Hawaii.

But they weren't starving.

Thanks to the advice of a local fisherman, they'd packed a year's worth of food and water purifiers in case of an emergency, but there was nothing they could have done to prepare for the sharks.

Appel and Fuiava said sharks menaced them twice. Appel said another shark came the next night, slamming itself against the hull of the ship.

Jennifer Appel, of Honolulu, blows kisses as rescuers approach her crippled sailboat, the Sea Nymph, after being lost at sea for months, about 900 miles southeast of Japan.

. "The two continued the calls daily, but they were not close enough to other vessels or shore stations to receive them", the US Navy said.

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Surviving the experience has bonded the two friends who been close since they met in December 2016 while Fuiava was a security guard at the facility where Appel was doing work on her boat.

The pair, along with their dogs - or the "boys", as they call them - survived two separate shark attacks, they said.

"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day ..."

In Sasebo, Japan, the USS Ashland was near the area on routine deployment.

"The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", Cmdr. "So she had several problems that caused her to end up drifting in the ocean", the elder Appel said.

Ashland Command Master Chief Gary Wise welcomes aboard Jennifer Appel.

.

"I'm grateful for their service to our country". The women will remain on board the USS Ashland until its next port of call.

"When I saw the grey ship on the horizon, I was just shaking, I was so happy, I knew we were going to live", Appel says.

"There's different sunrises and sunsets every day ... and you're around for a reason, but you may as well use the time to do something beneficial".