Two American women, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba, were saved after being stranded in the middle of the ocean for five months thanks to a Taiwanese fishing boat that spotted them on Oct. 24
The women’s crippled sailboat were spotted by the Taiwanese fishing vessel about 900 miles southeast of Japan, according to Taiwan News
. After they saw Appel and Fuiaba’s boat, the crew immediately contacted the United States Navy stationed in Guam.
The women were found by the U.S. Navy rescue team
with the help of its amphibious landing ship USS Ashland on Oct. 25, a day after the Taiwanese crew reported the sighting.
Both women and their dogs were safely rescued by the Navy, and were found to be in good health.
The secret to their survival was a water purifier that they packed for the journey as well as enough dried food, including oatmeal and pasta, that would last for at least one year.
Appel and Fuiaba, who are both from Honolulu, went on a sailing voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti on May 3 with a distance of 1,988 miles. Unluckily, the women lost their one and only phone during the first day of their journey.
In late May, the women also lost their engine due to terrible weather at sea. The pair thought that they could sail to Tahiti instead, but two months had already passed and there was still no progress.
Both Appel and Fuiaba tried to send out distress signal for 98 days, but to no avail.
“Various things on her boat broke, the mast broke and the engine wouldn’t start when she needed power. So she had several problems that caused her to end up drifting in the ocean,” Jennifer’s 75-year-old mother, Joyce Appel, told the Associated Press.
The women received medical assessments, food and bed aboard the USS Ashland, and will remain there until the next port of call, the Navy said, according to The Guardian