Women rescued after voyage went from bad to worse

Women rescued after voyage went from bad to worse

Two women from Hawaii who were lost at sea for almost five months have been rescued by the US Navy.

A pair of women from Hawaii meant to sail for Tahiti but bad weather and technical problems left them adrift at sea for months, sometimes among sharks.

In a phone call with news media from the Ashland, Appel said they had sent a distress signal for 98 days with no response, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The women were spotted on Tuesday by a Taiwanese fishing vessel 900 miles southeast of Japan, according to Honolulu station KHON TV.

Two women and their dogs are safe after being stranded at sea.

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

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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.

One of their mobile phones was washed overboard on their first day at sea, and from then things only got worse.

"They said pack every square inch of your boat with food, and if you think you need a month, pack six months, because you have no idea what could possibly happen out there", Appel said.

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

Even worse - Appel and Fuiaba's mast later broke, and the duo were left with just their water purifier, and year's worth of rations, and their two dogs.

"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day ..."

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Appel described the situation prior to the rescue as "very depressing" and "very hopeless".

That's hundreds, if not thousands of miles off-course.

The ordeal ended Wednesday when the USS Ashland arrived on the scene around 10:30 a.m. Officials assessed the damage to the boat and found it unseaworthy.

The Navy is always ready to "assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", said the Ashland's top officer Cmdr. "Three would get on one side and two would get on the other side, and they would make waves and try to knock down the boat".

Speaking about their rescue, Jennifer Appel explained: "I'm grateful for their service to our country".

The pair and their dogs will remain on board the USS Ashland until it reaches its next port. "The pride and smiles we had when we saw (them) on the horizon was pure relief".

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"We learned that we love the ocean, that we can persevere past the limits of what we thought was tolerable", Appel says. "You may as well be doing something you enjoy when you're doing it, right?" she said.

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