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Souper Duphus Senior River Rat

Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 2187
Location: Guatemala / San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: NICE ENDING GREAT NEWS Reply with quote

From shark attacks to major storms, 2 mariners share their 5 months lost at sea
Good Morning America LUIS MARTINEZ,Good Morning America 7 hours ago
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Lost for 5 months at sea

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Two women mariners adrift in the Pacific Ocean for five months endured two days of shark attacks on their sailboat and major storms before being rescued by a U.S. Navy warship nearly 5,000 miles from their intended destination of Tahiti.

Still aboard the USS Ashland, Jennifer Appel and Natasha "Tasha" Fuiava shared their harrowing experiences with reporters late Thursday night via conference call.

On May 3, Appel, an experienced sailor, and Fuiva, a sailing novice, set sail from Honolulu aboard the 50-foot "Sea Nymph" bound for Tahiti, 2,600 miles to the south. Also aboard were Appel's two dogs, Valentine and Zeus.

Early into their voyage they realized that a structural failure on their sailing mast would impact their voyage and limit their sailing speed to 4 to 5 knots.

US Navy rescues sailors and their 2 dogs lost at sea for months

Soon after that, they endured an intense storm with almost hurricane winds and 25-foot waves that buffeted their sailboat for two days.

The storm left their engine flooded, but they still attempted to sail to Tahiti before they drifted westward in the Pacific.

So began a five-month journey across the Pacific that was at times depressing, reflective and frightful.

Prepared for a difficult voyage the sailboat had been stocked with a year's worth of food supplies they had seen recommended in a book. The sailboat also came equipped with water purifiers that got them through their ordeal.

PHOTO: Tasha Fuiaba, an American mariner who had been sailing for five months on a damaged sailboat, climbs the accommodation ladder to board the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 4Cool, Oct. 25, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Navy)
But while well-fed and nourished, the experience was "very depressing and very helpless" said Appel who noted that "you do what you can and what you have, you have no other choice."

"You're alive, you're fed, you have water, the boys are happy and there's love, and there are different sunrises and sunsets every day," said Faiuva.

"And you're around for a reason, so you may as well use the time you have to do something beneficial," added Appel.

But both said there were "absolutely" days when they despaired they would never be found.

"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day? If tonight is your last night?" said Appel.

In addition to enduring two more storms, "we had survived two different shark attacks and with both of them we thought it was lights out, and they were horrific,” said Appel.

One night a group of seven sharks, including five adults measuring 20 to 30 feet in length along with two young sharks, slapped their tails on the hull repeatedly.

PHOTO: USS Ashland (LSD 4Cool Command Master Chief Gary Wise welcomes aboard Jennifer Appel, an American mariner who had received assistance from Ashland crew members, Oct. 25, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Navy)
Appel speculated that the adult sharks were teaching the young sharks how to attack.

The next morning five dolphins appeared alongside the ship "to say hello" and to determine, they believe, to see if they were alive. The dolphins soon swam away 200 yards from the boat where they were joined by 60 to 70 dolphins that appeared to "party by the boat."

The next night one "sore loser" tiger shark came back and slapped the boat again. Fuiava likened it to experiencing an earthquake in the middle of nowhere unable to get help "and you're sharkbait."

At times they would see commercial ships off in the distance, but they never responded to their distress signals or flares they fired into the sky.

Finally on Tuesday they were spotted by a Taiwanese fishing boat 900 miles from Japan -- 5,000 miles from where they'd intended to sail in Japan.

But despite the crew's best efforts to secure the sailboat, they actually damaged it further.

Appel told the Taiwanese boat to use their radio, which is how they were eventually able to get a U.S. Navy ship to pick them up.

"Thank God we were being rescued," Appel described her emotions when she saw American sailors coming toward the "Sea Nymph." "I have tears in my eye as I say this. It was incredibly emotional and it was so satisfying to know that the men and women who serve their country would come and assist us. It was actually quite mind-blowing and quite humbling."

Their sailboat is now adrift in the Pacific and they hope they can one day have it brought back to them. Aren’t they afraid of getting back into that sailboat again if found?

"Well you got to die sometime, you might as well be doing something you enjoy when you're doing it, right?" said Appel.
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Souper Duphus Senior River Rat

Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 2187
Location: Guatemala / San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:25 pm    Post subject: MORE STRANGE STUFF ABOUT THIS STORY do we have a twist? Reply with quote

Doubts are now being raised about the remarkable rescue of two women from Hawaii who say they were stranded at sea on a disabled sailboat for five months. NBC’s Lucy Kafanov reports for TODAY.

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Associated Press
Women rescued by Navy defend their account of ordeal at sea
Associated Press CALEB JONES,Associated Press 19 hours ago
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HONOLULU (AP) — Two women from Hawaii who were rescued after being lost at sea defended their account of the ordeal Tuesday, insisting that a storm was whipping up 30-foot waves and near hurricane-force winds on the night they set sail, despite records that show no severe weather in the area.

The Coast Guard is reviewing records from the days after Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava put to sea in a 50-foot sailboat, but NASA satellite images for the days around their departure show no organized storms in the region where they planned to travel.

There was a tropical cyclone, but it was near Fiji, thousands of miles west of Hawaii. Localized squalls are known to pop up, but a storm lasting three days would have been visible on satellite and would have elicited mass warnings to the public to brace for the weather.

"We got into a Force 11 storm, and it lasted for two nights and three days," Appel said.

Coast Guard officials told The Associated Press on Monday that the two women had an emergency beacon but never turned it on because they did not fear for their lives. If they had, rescue would have been headed their way in a matter of minutes.

The woman "stated they never felt like they were truly in distress, like in a 24-hour period they were going to die," Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle said Monday.

The women said Tuesday that they did not use the beacon because they never felt they were in immediate danger, yet they have been quoted as saying they did not think they would survive another day, and that they were fearful during a dramatic tiger shark attack that lasted for six hours. Furthermore, the pair said they had been flagging vessels and sending distress signals for at least 98 days.

"We knew we weren't going to make it," Appel said. "So that's when we started making distress calls."

The Coast Guard outlined other inconsistencies, most notably on the timing of events.

Appel's mother, Joyce, told the AP that she called the Coast Guard to report her daughter missing a week and a half after they departed for what they believed would be an 18-day trip to Tahiti.

However, the Coast Guard never got a call from the elder Appel. They received a call from a "family friend" they identified as a male on May 19, still several days before the women expected to arrive.

The women said they filed a float plan listing their course and other details with some friends and relatives. However, in an interview with the Coast Guard, the women said they had filed no float plan.

They also defended their claims that their boat would not fit into harbors on some Hawaiian islands, places where much larger vessels come and go regularly.

Their description of 20- to 30-foot tiger sharks ramming their boat in a coordinated attack for more than six hours could simply be misperception, but scientists who study sharks say that behavior has never been recorded and that tiger sharks grow to only about 17 feet in length.

University of Hawaii professor and veteran shark researcher Kim Holland has never heard of any kind of shark repeatedly attacking a boat hull throughout a night. He also said tiger sharks never jump out of the water and do not make coordinated attacks.

Sometimes sharks will congregate around a food source like a whale carcass, but Holland said that was unlikely in this case "if there's nothing there to attract the animals. I mean this is just an inert boat hull."

As time goes on, new details emerge in the women's account, and other details change. They have now reported making contact with someone at Wake Island but previously said no one responded to their calls for help.

Their account of receiving a tow from a Taiwanese fishing vessel changed as well. They originally said the crew was kind, but later said they were worried for their safety and thought that the crew might be making an attempt to harm them.

They added that the fishing boat had backed into their sailboat, causing significant damage.

"I also believe that they knew they were damaging the boat. And if we couldn't get additional help, that boat would sink, and they would get ... two girls to do whatever they wanted to," Appel said.

The captain of the fishing vessel, the Fong Chun No. 66, who identified himself as Mr. Chen in a satellite phone call from the AP, said his boat received a mayday radio call but did not understand it. They then saw someone waving a white object on a boat about a nautical mile away.

When they approached, the women asked to use the satellite phone on the fishing vessel and for a tow to Midway Island. The larger vessel towed the smaller sailboat overnight. In the morning, the women wanted to stop the towing and called for a naval vessel.

"We offered to get them on board the fishing boat and asked whether they needed water or food, but they refused," the captain said.

The fishermen left after the arrival of the U.S.S. Ashland.

Hawaii sailing experts say the trip itself was a bad idea.

Mike Michelwait, owner of the Honolulu Sailing Company, a sailing school and charter company, has sailed the route from Hawaii to Tahiti several times. He said the trip would normally take about 17 days with sailors who could stay on course.

But, Michelwait said, he would not take such a trip with any less than three experienced sailors.

"There's only two of them on board, and it's a 50-foot boat," he said. "That's a lot of boat to handle."

At some point, Appel joined the Hawai'i Actors Network, noting on the group's website that she has "been known to do almost any skydiving or motorcycle stunt — camera optional." Through the group, she found work as an extra in the former TV series "Off the Map" and the former sitcom "Cougar Town," appearing in that show in a pink bikini in the background of a season finale.

A call to the actors' network was not returned.
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web foote

Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 3973
Location: rio grande y rio dulce

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i watched 40 minutes of interviews with the girls. they live in a different
reality than the majority of sailors. all said and done, i think they had an
interesting adventure. if they had a reality show on youtube of their daily
life on board i might watch some episodes. i like comedies.

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Super Senior River Rat

Joined: 14 Jul 2012
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems any off shore sailor would look at this story with some interest. I certainly did. No question in my mind that the 2 humans were NOT especially well equipped for a 2600 mile off shore experience. They were saved by a year's supply of basic dry staples (which I read was advice from some book they read and followed) and RO watermakers( same source). Otherwise they would have perished without even considering eating their livestock (dogs). Said livestock could have easily accelerated their demise by consuming precious resources of food and especially water. Not activating the EPIRB is a comedy of error within itself. I must conclude they had low seamanship skills as how to jury rig, sea anchor or otherwise command the vessel in a controlled manner in the direction intended. They drifted, uncontrolled. Lucky to be alive, they made many mistakes any one of which could have been the end. Fortunate, very fortunate considering their ignorance and stupidity to be alive to tell their story.

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web foote

Joined: 18 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Xcellent assessment. Laughing
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Captain John
Super Windy Senior

Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 2133
Location: Captain John's Rio Dulce Marina

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darwin award candidates
It's never too late to have a happy childhood Smile
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web foote

Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 3973
Location: rio grande y rio dulce

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

captn j-

i thought of you when i watched the interviews with these sailors. seems to
me they survived those five months by following your boating advice to the

A) they kept the boat in the water
B) they kept the water out of the boat
C) they kept the people and the dogs in the boat

Xcellent seawomanship i'd say.... what more could they do? Laughing Laughing Laughing
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