Two American women from Honolulu, Hawaii were recently rescued by the U.S. Navy after an unsuccessful attempt to sail to Tahiti during the spring. After their engine failed and their boat hit bad weather, both women were left stranded, lost in the ocean with their two dogs on board. Fast forward five months and they have been rescued by the US Navy and will be safely returned home.

Friends and dogs set sail for Tahiti

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba from Honolulu, Hawaii boarded their boat on May 3 this year, taking their two dogs on a sailing adventure to the island of Tahiti.

However, the two ladies hit problems when a Pacific Ocean storm caused their engine to fail on May 30. The ladies decided to carry on with their journey under sail, but went off course and soon became lost in the ocean. The ladies said they issued daily distress calls, but their boat was too far away from land or other ships to be heard.

Luckily the women had provided well for themselves on their boat, with a year’s supply of dried food, including pasta, oatmeal, and rice. They also had water purifiers on board, so didn’t go lacking for fresh water.

U.S. Navy to the rescue

As reported by USA Today, the boat was finally spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel on Tuesday, thousands of miles from their initial destination of Tahiti and around 900 miles from Japan.

The boat’s crew immediately got in touch with the U.S. Coast Guard in Guam.

Wednesday saw the women happily rescued by the USS Ashland, an amphibious docking landing ship belonging to the U.S. Navy. Officers soon determined that the women’s boat was “unseaworthy,” taking the pair on board with their two dogs. The women were made comfortable with food and beds on the ship after receiving a medical assessment and will stay on the ship until it arrives at its next port of call.

After the rescue, Appel said the U.S. Navy had saved their lives. She said the happiness and pride they felt when they saw the ship on the horizon was an expression of “pure relief.” However, the commanding officer of the Navy ship, Cmdr Steven Wasson shrugged off any praise by saying the U.S.

Navy is always available to aid any distressed mariner, despite their nationality and under any type of circumstances.

The Guardian quotes Appel’s mother, Joyce Appel, 55, of Houston, as saying she had never given up hope her “resourceful” daughter and her friend would be found. She was thrilled to receive a call from Jennifer early Thursday morning after not hearing from her for five months. Joyce said her daughter had lost her phone while on board and she was unable to get in touch.