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2 women & 2 dogs rescued months after boat engine died

171025-N-UX013-233 PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 25, 2017) Sailors help Zeus, one of two dogs who were accompanying two mariners who were aided by the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

Two women and their dogs are thankful to be alive after their boat lost power back on May 30th.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba, both from Honolulu, set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti with their dogs onboard.

The women say their engine failed, but they continued, thinking they could use the sail to make it to Tahiti.

After sailing without power for about two months, they began sending out daily distress calls, but were too far from land or any other ships to receive them.

On Tuesday, October 24th, they were spotted southeast of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel, who alerted the Coast Guard.

The USS Ashland, a dock landing ship patrolling in the area, reached the sailboat on Wednesday morning and rescued the women and their dogs from the sailboat.

Jennifer Appel said, "I'm grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief".

Appel said they survived the situation by bringing water purifiers and over a year's worth of food on board, primarily in the form of dry goods such as oatmeal, pasta and rice.

"The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation," said Cmdr. Steven Wasson, Ashland commanding officer.


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