US sailors rescued after five months at sea

The US Navy has rescued two American yachtswomen and their dogs after being at the Pacific Ocean for five months owing to a disabled engine, the officials said Thursday.

The pair, Tasha Fuiaba and Jennifer Appel, were found in the southeast of Japan by a fishing vessel, and they were rescued on Wednesday by a Sasebo-based US Navy after the vessel notified the US authorities.

The women had set off in May from Hawaii in a small boat on a trip to Tahiti. They believed that they could reach their destination by relying on the wind and sails but unfortunately, the bad weather damaged their mast and engine.

Appel and Fuiaba made series of distress calls continuously for 98 days, but the communication was down. The US Navy confirmed that they received daily calls from two unknown women, but the signals were not strong enough.

The dramatic rescue

They become depressed as their situation became hopeless. They saw few other ships at a distance that could not respond to their fired flares. It was a battle of survival, they said. And we were attacked by Tiger sharks; twice.

On 24 October, the 99th day of the distress calls, a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted a sailboat in poor condition which wouldn’t have lasted for another day. The vessel went to their rescue, towing the boat while the crew alerted the Coast Guard in Guam. That moment was mind blowing and emotional for the sailors, knowing that they have been saved from what would have been a pitiable end.

The US Navy arrived the following day to rescue the duo and their dogs. They were relieved and incredibly happy when they spotted the US Navy on the horizon.

The pair had a water purifier and plenty of dry goods such as oatmeal, pasta, and rice – which they used to survive the ordeal.

Despite all that happened, the sailors announced that the unpleasant adventure did not alter their love for sailing and they look forward to their next trip.