Two Women, Dogs Rescued After 5 Months Stranded at Sea

2 Americans and Their Dogs Rescued After 5 Months at Sea

2 Americans and Their Dogs Rescued After 5 Months at Sea

By the time the Navy rescued them they had been lost on their sailboat for five months.

The two set sail on May 3 and ran into trouble nearly immediately, Ms Appel said, hitting a storm that pounded their vessel with 80-to-112-kilometre-per-hour winds for three days as they travelled the Hawaiian islands. "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".

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba were eventually able to catch the attention of a Taiwanese fishing boat after issuing distress calls for 98 days, and were picked up more than 1,400 kilometres southeast of Japan.

The 50-foot "Sea Nymph", now crippled, drifted thousands of miles off course.

But they weren't starving.

They managed to survive on board using water purifiers and a year's worth of food - mostly in the form of dried supplies such as oatmeal, pasta and rice.

"They saved our lives", said Appel through the Navy release. Appel said another shark came the next night, slamming itself against the hull of the ship.

Jennifer Appel departed on May 3, her mother said, but her phone was lost overboard the first day she was at sea, and she hadn't heard from her daughter since.

"I could see light and I could see vessels, and once you get closer, we thought it would be close enough to do a [distress] call", Fuiava said.

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"Various things on her boat..."

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

Appel told reporters on Friday that they were beginning to believe they were completely out of luck when they saw the U.S. Navy ship chugging toward them.

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".

Following a joint operation by Japanese, Taiwanese and US teams, a US Navy ship reached the sailors on Wednesday morning - and rescued them after their boat was deemed "unseaworthy".

"The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", said Cmdr. Steven Wasson, the commanding officer of the USS Ashland.

"If they hadn't been found there (off Japan) there's a good chance they'd have gone back out to the Pacific", Ebbesmeyer said. That is when she said water flooded their engine.

Speaking about their rescue, Jennifer Appel explained: "I'm grateful for their service to our country". "The pride and smiles we had when we saw (U.S. Navy) on the horizon was pure relief".

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