Two Honolulu women rescued after five months lost in Pacific Ocean

Two Honolulu women rescued after five months lost in Pacific Ocean

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.

Their engine broke down on May 30 during a bad weather but they thought they could continue to Tahiti using the wind.

"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night", said Appel from the USS Ashland, the USA navy vessel that rescued them once the Taiwanese fishing boat passed on the distress signal.

A Taiwanese fishing boat spotted the tired sailors 900 miles off Japan. Jennifer, a friend and their two dogs set sail from Honolulu for Tahiti in May. "I just had no idea it would be more than five months before she would reach shore so I was anxious", Joyce Appel said.

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.

Appel and Fuiava said sharks menaced them twice.

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

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

Thanks to advice from local fisherman, the two brought along a years worth of food and some backup supplies in case an emergency happened. "There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night".

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Although Appel has been sailing the Hawaiian islands for 10 years and spent two years preparing for this voyage, she acknowledged she and Fuiava, a novice sailor, may not have prepared as well as they could have. The boat was discovered Tuesday, about 900 miles southeast of Japan - which is thousands of miles away from Tahiti.

The fishermen contact the US Coast Guard, which alerted the USS Ashland stationed in Sasebo, Japan.

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

"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.

"I had tears in my eyes", Ms Appel said about being rescued.

Their sailboat is right now drifting out to sea and is no longer seaworthy, CNN reports.

"I'm grateful for their service to our country".

"When we saw you guys coming over the horizon it was, 'Oh God, we're saved, '" Appel said. They will remain aboard the Ashland until the ship's next port of call.

"There's different sunrises and sunsets every day", Fuiava said.

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