U.S. Navy Rescues 2 Boaters, 2 Dogs After 5 Months Adrift In Pacific

Navy rescue boaters

Sailors assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) maneuver the landing craft to help distressed boaters on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

(CBS News) — Two American sailors and their two dogs were rescued Wednesday after surviving five months at sea in the Pacific after their sailboat’s engine failed in May.

The U.S. Navy says Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba were discovered 900 miles southeast of Japan on Tuesday by a fishing ship from Taiwan. The USS Ashland, an amphibious landing ship, was in the area on routine patrol and assisted in the rescue effort.

Appel and Fuiaba set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti in the spring with their dogs, one of which is named Zeus. They said the vessel’s engine died during bad weather on May 30, but the pair believed they could make it to land using the ship’s sails.

navy ocean rescue dog U.S. Navy Rescues 2 Boaters, 2 Dogs After 5 Months Adrift In Pacific

Sailors help Zeus, one of two dogs who were accompanying two mariners who were aided by the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

After two months at sea, the sailors said they began issuing daily distress signals, but there were no ships close enough to hear the calls. The ship drifted far off its original course after the engine failed.

On October 24, they were discovered 900 miles southeast of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel which contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, the Navy said.

The Ashland was eventually contacted and on October 25 it arrived at 10:30 a.m local time. After assessing the sailboat unseaworthy, Ashland crew members brought the women and their two dogs aboard the ship at 1:18 p.m.

They will remain on board until the Ashland makes its next port of call.

Appel said they survived thanks to water purifiers and a year’s supply of dry food on board, including rice, pasta and oatmeal, according to the Navy.

ocean rescue 2 U.S. Navy Rescues 2 Boaters, 2 Dogs After 5 Months Adrift In Pacific

Tasha Fuiaba, an American mariner who had been sailing for five months on a damaged sailboat, climbs the accommodation ladder to board the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

Appel thanked the Navy for coming to their rescue.

navy rescue U.S. Navy Rescues 2 Boaters, 2 Dogs After 5 Months Adrift In Pacific

USS Ashland (LSD 48) Command Master Chief Gary Wise welcomes aboard Jennifer Appel, an American mariner who had received assistance from Ashland crew members. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

“I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief,” Appel said, according to the Navy.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Kym Kamel says:

    something very fishy about this whole siuation; too many questions not answered. These women looked perfectly healthy, coiffed, and not sun or salt burned……good health? surprising that they dont have scurvy at the very least! I say it is a fairy tale fake news story, hoping for film rights for Hollywood.

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