It was back in May when Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba set sail in their boat with their dogs from their home state of Hawaii, but bad weather incapacitated their boat, and they never made it to their destination of Tahiti. The two have been stranded in their crippled boat just drifting in the Pacific Ocean for the past five months. The women and their dogs hit a storm, and their boat lost power. They then drifted far off course in the five months that they’ve been stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Despite the daily distress calls sent by these two female sailors, no help came. They were far off the shipping lanes, and those calls weren’t heard. According to USA Today, the engine on their sailboat failed on May 30, and the women thought they could use the sails to get to land, but after months at sea, that idea looked less and less promising.
On Tuesday, the two sailors and their pups were discovered about 900 miles southwest of Japan by a Taiwan fishing boat. The crew of that boat contacted the U.S. Coast Guard station in Guam, and come Wednesday morning, the Navy’s USS Ashland pulled up to the stranded sailors in a 610-foot-long “amphibious docking landing ship.”
The USS Ashland had been on routine maneuvers in that area of the Pacific Ocean when the call came in from the Tawain fishing boat that the two sailors needed rescuing, according to CBS News. Jennifer, Tasha, and their dogs will remain on the Ashland until it arrives at its next port of call.
When the Navy arrived, they first inspected their battered boat and deemed the vessel “unseaworthy,” so Jennifer and Tasha, along with their dogs, were taken aboard the Ashland.
Jennifer told reporters, “They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw (the ship) on the horizon was pure relief.”
How did these two American sailors survive on the high seas for five months? The women had a year’s supply of dry food with them, which was stored on the boat for just this type of emergency purposes. Along with the food, the two sailors had a water purifier on board, which was able to supply them with all the drinking water they needed. That year’s worth of dry food primarily consisted of pasta, oatmeal, and rice.
[Featured Image by German Vlasoff/Shutterstock]