Published: Sat, October 28, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sailors survive 99 days lost at sea

Sailors survive 99 days lost at sea

Then the ship lost its communications capabilities.

Two months into their journey, they started issuing daily distress calls but unfortunately weren't close enough for anyone to receive them.

Ms Appel said they survived by bringing water purifiers and more than a year's worth of food, mostly dry goods such as oatmeal, pasta and rice.

Jennifer Appel left for her trip on 3 May, her mother said, but soon after the two women weren't able to speak because Jennifer Appel's phone was lost overboard the first day she was at sea.

"And both of them - we actually thought it was lights out", Appel said, "and they were horrific".

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A group of sharks attacked their boat one night, and a single shark returned a day later, she said.

After the fishermen contacted United States authorities in the Guam region of the ocean, the amphibious dock landing ship the USS Ashland, which was in the area, arrived the next day to rescue the sailors and their dogs.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti this spring with their two dogs. "If tonight is your last night".

Appel said in a conference call with reporters from the Ashland that the pair sent a distress signal for 98 days.

After almost five months lost at sea, they were finally spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel. "They could smell us".

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The USS Ashland picked up Appel and Tasha Fuiava after a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted their crippled vessel Tuesday and alerted the Coast Guard.

Operating near the area on a routine deployment, Ashland made best speed to the location of the vessel in the early morning on October 25 and arrived on scene at 10:30 a.m that morning. Steven Wasson, the Ashland's leader, in a news discharge.

The Navy released video footage of the rescuers reaching the stricken sailboat.

Two brown dogs can be seen, wearing life vests, running around the deck and barking.

Their sailboat was deemed unseaworthy and is now drifting out at sea, a Navy spokesman said during the call from the Ashland.

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"When I saw the gray boat on the edge of the horizon, my heart leapt", Appel said on NBC's "Today" show. They saved our lives.

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