Two sailors and their dogs rescued after five months adrift at sea

  • Two sailors and their dogs rescued after five months adrift at sea

Two sailors and their dogs rescued after five months adrift at sea

The two women who were lost at sea for five months are sharing the details of their harrowing ordeal that has captivated the nation.

"They saved our lives", said Appel through the navy release.

Then on Tuesday, a Taiwanese fishing vessel finally discovered the boat about 1,440km south-east of Japan. USS Ashland were on the scene the next day. They were adrift at sea with Appel's two dogs, Zeus and Valentine, cut off from the world. "It was actually quite mind-blowing and incredibly humbling".

All four looked remarkably fit, and Appel credited that to veteran sailors who had warned them to prepare well for the voyage.

Appel and Fuiava survived on a year's worth of dry goods, including oatmeal, pasta and rice, the Navy said.

"I'm telling you I've never seen any Stanley Cup victor come even close to the precision these five sharks had", Appel says.

Joyce alerted the authorities 10 days after her daughter left for Tahiti.

But she acknowledged that perhaps she and Fuiava, a novice at sea, weren't as ready for the crossing as they could have been. "I knew she didn't even know the phone number here".

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

Appel and Tasha Fuiava had set out on May 3 from a harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, on what was supposed to be a month-long 2,700-mile adventure to Tahiti.

Their engine went out toward the end of the month.

While they issued daily distress calls, they were not able to contact another vessel or shore station. One of their cellphones had been washed overboard early in the voyage, and they were out of cell range anyway.

"The pride and smiles we had when we saw [the U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief", said Appel.

But the two say once they make it back to Hawaii, they're going to enjoy their favorite food, and potentially plan another trip back to the sea.

Meanwhile, loved ones had no idea where they were.

"The coast guard, in Hawaii, did a search and rescue effort", she said.

Still, as the months passed, Joyce Appel said she never lost hope that the pair would be found.

"I had hope all along, she is very resourceful and she's curious and as things break she tries to fix them, she doesn't sit and wait for the repairman to get there, so I knew the same thing would be true of the boat". Fuiava recalls, adding that she had before gone sailing. "So I knew the same thing would be true of the boat". "I waited and waited and waited to see when I would hear from her". "And she said, 'Yes, Mom, ' and that was really exciting".

The mother said the pair's water purifier had stopped working and they were down to their last gallon of water when Jennifer got it fixed. "And you're around for a reason, but you may as well use the time to do something beneficial".

Ms Appel, who had been sailing the Hawaiian islands for a decade, said she had planned this voyage for more than two years.

"It was very depressing and very hopeless, but it's the only thing you can do, so you do what you can do", she said, according to an audio recording of the call.