Pacific Ocean—Two women including their pets from Honolulu have been rescued after about a six months of their stranding from Pacific Ocean on Wednesday. They had lost after a month long sailing trip in spring, from Hawaii- US to Tahiti- French Polynesia.
The Sasebo-based amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) extended assistance to two distressed mariners, Oct. 25, whose sailboat had strayed well off its original course. Last Wednesday morning they have found 5,000 miles off route where their dream had frozen to nightmare due to engine casualty on May 30. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba including their pets were rescued by the Navy vessel from 900 miles south of Japan, states Navy report.
After setting out in early May, a storm claimed their 50-foot boat’s engine on May 30. They spent the next five months adrift at sea and unable to make contact with others, nytimes.com reports. On Oct. 24, they were discovered 900 miles southeast of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The fishing vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector Guam who then coordinated with Taipei Rescue Coordination Center, the Japan Coordination Center, and the Joint Coordination Center in Honolulu to render assistance.
They drank water of water purifier and ate oatmeal, pasta and rice, with two dogs, Zeus and Valentine. “I had tears in my eyes,’’ Ms. Appel said of the moment she saw the Navy ship approaching, according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “It was incredibly emotional.”
Ms. Appel, who said she had lived in Hawaii for 10 years, began planning the trip two and a half years ago out of a desire to further explore the South Pacific. But after their engine flooded, the plan went awry. Ms. Appel and Ms. Fuiaba at first believed they could get to their destination using only the boat’s sails. But two months into a journey that ordinarily takes half that long, they began to issue daily distress calls using a high-frequency radio.