Women and dogs rescued after five months adrift

"Two months into their journey and long past when they originally estimated they would reach Tahiti, they began to issue distress calls", the statement added.

The first occurred one night when the Sea Nymph drifted into a pack of tiger sharks, Appel said. "The pride and grins we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] upcoming was unadulterated alleviation".

The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland, based in Sasebo, Nagasaki, responded and brought the women and their dogs on board by 1:18 p.m. The fishermen attempted to tow the sailboat, but when they failed, contacted the US Coast Guard.

"Both of them, we actually thought it was lights out, and they were horrific", Appel said. They will stay with the Ashland until it makes its next port-of-call.

Ashland, operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on a routine deployment, rescued two American mariners who had been in distress for several months after their sailboat had a motor failure and had strayed well off its original course while traversing the Pacific Ocean.

The Guardian says that during that time Joyce Appel moved house and had a new phone number and anxious her daughter may not be able to reach her.

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"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night", she told reporters.

Joyce Appel, 75, who lives in Houston, said she got a call from her daughter early Thursday morning more than 5 months after they had last spoke.

Joyce alerted the authorities 10 days after her daughter left for Tahiti.

Appel and Fuiava survived on a year's worth of dry goods, including oatmeal, pasta and rice, the Navy said.

For sailors of the Ashland, it was just another day on the job. "I knew she didn't even know the phone number here", she said. But they were too far away from other boats and shore stations to be heard.

"The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", the Navy quoted the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Steven Wasson, the Ashland's leader, in a news discharge.


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