Houston woman speaks out after daughter rescued at sea

Rachel Hardy
October 31, 2017

Two women who had been adrift in the Pacific Ocean for almost five months after their sailboat was damaged have been rescued, according to the U.S. Navy.

The pair had originally planned to travel from Hawaii to Tahiti, but lost their boat's engine during damaging weather in May.

In June, they began making daily distress calls, but had no luck getting the attention of ships for 98 days straight, according to The Guardian.

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

Sailors from the USS Ashland approach a boat with two Honolulu women and their dogs aboard as they were rescued after being lost at sea.

"I went downstairs with the boys and we basically laid huddled on the floor, and I told them not to bark because the sharks could hear us breathing", Appel said.

"We would be lying if we didn't say that two women in a close space of 500 feet didn't get into it every once in awhile, but we didn't catfight or pull hair-we just threatened to throw each other overboard!" "I knew she didn't even know the phone number here", she said.

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

"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day ..." About a month into the trip, bad weather caused their engine to lose power, then their mast was damaged, and, as they drifted across thousands of miles of open ocean, the water purifier stopped working.

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In Sasebo, Japan, the USS Ashland was near the area on routine deployment.

Currently, the sailboat is adrift, but Appel and Fuiava hope another ship finds it and it can be repaired.

"The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", said Cmdr.

"If they hadn't been found there (off Japan) there's a good chance they'd have gone back out to the Pacific", Ebbesmeyer said.

"I had hope all along, she is very resourceful and she's curious and as things break she tries to fix them, she doesn't sit and wait for the repairman to get there, so I knew the same thing would be true of the boat". "The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief".

"I'm grateful for their service to our country. So she had several problems that caused her to end up drifting in the ocean", the elder Appel said.

"You may as well use the time you have to do something beneficial", Ms Fuiava said.

"Well, you gotta die sometime", Appel told ABC News."You may as well be doing something you enjoy when you're doing it".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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