Women rescued after five months adrift at sea

Navy Rescues 2 Sailors, 2 Dogs, Stranded in Pacific Ocean for 5 Months

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.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba were discovered about 900 miles southeast of Japan in the Pacific.

"I think the third night that I saw her, she asked me to go on this trip!"

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

The women received a medical assessment, food and beds aboard the Navy ship, where they will remain until the next port of call, the Navy said.

"And both of them - we actually thought it was lights out", Appel said, "and they were horrific".

"We were just incredibly lucky that our hull was strong enough to withstand the onslaught".

The first occurred one night when the Sea Nymph drifted into a pack of tiger sharks, Appel said.




Appel described the situation as "very depressing" and "very hopeless".

The women survived thanks to a year's supply of food consisting mostly dry goods including oatmeal, pasta and rice, and water purifiers they had on board.

Joyce Appel, 75, who lives in Houston, said she got a call from her daughter early on Thursday, more than five months after they had last spoke.

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", said Cmdr. Steven Wasson, Ashland commanding officer. They often had to get creative, such as when two of their watermakers (a device that turns salt water into drinking water) failed, and they combined working pieces from each of the machines to make a functioning one. "And she said, 'yes mom", and that was really exciting".

Their sailboat is right now drifting out to sea and is no longer seaworthy, CNN reports. "I couldn't have been more grateful paying taxes to the US Navy, who would honor us by going out of their way and holding up national security issues to save two women and two dogs who had erroneously ended up on the other side of the planet!" "They saved our lives".

"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". "The pride and smiles we had when we saw (US Navy) on the horizon was pure relief".

"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".

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