Imagine 5 months of sailing with a friend on the ocean blue, along with your two dogs. The peaceful surroundings, having a good supply of food and nothing but the waves to relax. Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?
Now imagine that your engine shut off early on in the trip and you’ve been just drifting while sending out distress signals with no answer. For 5 months. If any medical attention was needed or more food, there was no way to get a hold of anyone. And this is before even mentioning enduring scary storms at sea. This is exactly what Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba endured when their planned sailing adventure from Hawaii to Tahiti went terribly wrong.
Not too far into their trip, Jennifer and Tasha’s engine shut down during a storm. The two believed that they could still make it to shore using the sails, but that plan didn’t work. Daily distress signal calls that they sent were never heard. They were simply too far out to be noticed.
Thanks to the ladies packing a water purifier and plenty of rice, pasta, and oatmeal, they and their dogs survived while they waited and hoped to be noticed as they drifted at sea.
One glorious day, a Taiwanese fishing ship saw their boat 900 miles southeast of Japan. A US Navy boat named the USS Ashland was not far off and came to their rescue.
Jennifer and Tasha were ecstatic to see the US Navy approach them. The joyful rescue was caught on film for all to enjoy.
Jennifer later issued this statement about the Navy, “I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [the US Navy] on the horizon was a pure relief.”
Watch this video that captures Jennifer and Tasha’s reactions as the Navy Boat approaches their boat.
I had to watch it a couple of times. I can’t even imagine the relief that they must have felt. The dogs are also looking happy to see their rescuers.