Two civilian mariners were rescued at sea by a U.S. Navy ship after being stranded in the Pacific Ocean for almost five months.
The two mariners were well off course: They left Honolulu on their sailboat in the spring, bound for Tahiti, 2,600 miles away in the South Pacific, but were rescued in the western Pacific 900 miles southeast of Japan.
Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba, both from Honolulu, and their two dogs were rescued on Wednesday by the USS Ashland (LSD 48), an amphibious transport dock ship.
During a spell of bad weather on May 30, their sailboat’s engine stopped running for good. But the pair continued sailing toward Tahiti, believing they could make it to land.
Two months into their voyage, they began issuing daily distress radio calls. But there were no ships close enough to receive the messages.
On Tuesday a Taiwanese fishing vessel discovered the pair 900 miles from Japan, nearly 5,000 miles from their planned destination.
The vessel reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard in Guam for assistance, and it was determined that the Ashland was in the best position to pick up the stranded mariners.