Navy rescues mariners, dogs stranded in Pacific Ocean for 5 months

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Two Hawaiian mariners and their two dogs were rescued Wednesday after their sailboat strayed well off course during a trip to Tahiti and they were stranded in the Pacific Ocean for several months, the U.S. Navy said.


The USS Ashland, part of the Navy's 7th Fleet, picked up Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba, both from Honolulu, after they were discovered 900 miles southeast of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel.


The mariners had originally set sail with their two dogs from Hawaii to Tahiti this spring. After having engine problems on May 30 during bad weather, the two thought they could make it to land by using only their sail, according to the Navy.



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80 i8"The pair survived so long at sea by bringing water purifiers and over a year's worth of food on board, "


Yup. Any decent size boat needs emergency provisions, even on the Great Lakes. Dry, canned, dehydrated, MRE's etc. 


However, no EPIRBS SAR locator beacon?



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The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that the two Hawaii women who say they were lost at sea never activated their emergency beacon, adding to a growing list of inconsistencies that cast doubt on the women's harrowing tale of survival.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr told The Associated Press that their review of the incident and subsequent interviews with the survivors revealed that they had the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) aboard but never turned it on. The women said they chose not to activate the device because they never feared for their lives.

Sailors and their dogs rescued after 5 months at sea

Parts of their story have been called into question, including the tropical storm the two say they encountered on their first night at sea in May. National Weather Service records show no organized storms in the region in early May.

When asked if the two had the radio beacon aboard, the women told the AP on Friday they had a number of other communications devices, but they didn't mention the EPIRB.


Never felt 'truly in distress'


The device communicates with satellites and sends locations to authorities. It's activated when it's submerged in water or turned on manually.

During the post-incident debriefing by the Coast Guard, Jennifer Appel, who was on the sailboat with Tasha Fuiava, was asked if she had the emergency beacon on board. Appel replied she did, and that it was properly registered.


"We asked why during this course of time did they not activate the EPIRB. She had stated they never felt like they were truly in distress, like in a 24-hour period they were going to die," said Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle, who was on the call to the AP with Carr.

Carr also said the Coast Guard made radio contact with a vessel that identified itself as the Sea Nymph in June near Tahiti, and the captain said they were not in distress and expected to make land the next morning. That was after the women reportedly lost their engines and sustained damage to their rigging and mast.


Boat could have been found in minutes


Experts say some of the details of the women's story do not add up.

A retired Coast Guard officer who was responsible for search and rescue operations said that if the women used the emergency beacon, they would have been found.

Fuiaba climbs aboard USS Ashland after the U.S. navy ship rescued them and their dogs on Wednesday. It's not clear if the pair had tested their emergency beacon before the journey. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/U.S. navy/Associated Press)

"If the thing was operational and it was turned on, a signal should have been received very, very quickly that this vessel was in distress," Phillip R. Johnson said Monday in a telephone interview from Washington state.

Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacons, or EPIRBS, activate when they are submerged in water or turned on manually and send a location to rescuers within minutes.


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15 hours ago, DocM said:


What else can be said?! :D

  • Haha 1
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