Two women stranded in the Pacific Ocean with their two dogs were recently rescued after months lost at sea, according to CNN.
Both Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, along with their animals were sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti but ended up stranded in the middle of the ocean for five months.
On May 30, the two Honolulu residents ran into bad weather that damaged their boat's engine. Instead of turning home, the two mariners sailed on, drifting off course.
The two women planned to reach Tahiti in less than two months. After that time had passed and they had not reached their destination, they made distress calls. But they were too remote for other boats or stations heard them.
"You can't get any help at all because you're in the middle of nowhere," Fuiava told reporters.
So the two women used water purifiers and more than a year’s supply of food — a combination of dry food, oatmeal and pasta, which they brought with them — to stay alive, according to KHON-2.
“It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless,” Appel said. “The only thing you can do, you use what you can and what you have. You have no other choice.”
Appel said they were attacked by sharks, too.
“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along,” Appel said. “They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night.”
On Oct. 24, a Taiwanese fishing vessel discovered the two women and their dogs, one of which is named Zeus.
The vessel spoke with the Coast Guard in Guam, which worked with Japan’s coordination center and the Joint Coordination Center in Honolulu to help the women, KHON-2 reported.
The USS Ashland responded to the call and saved the women, who were roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan, according to The Associated Press, putting them "thousands of miles off course."
“I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw (the U.S. Navy) on the horizon was pure relief,” said Appel. “Thank God we’ve been rescued. I had tears in my eyes.”
Appel said the experience won’t ever leave the two mariners.
"It was incredibly emotional, and it was so satisfying to know the men and women that serve our country would come and assist us — it was actually quite mind-blowing and incredibly humbling," she said, according to NBC News.