WHITE BEACH NAVAL FACILITY, Japan — The Latest on the rescue of two sailors lost nearly six months in the Pacific (all times local):
Two women from Hawaii who were adrift on their sailboat for months say they once got within 726 nautical miles of Oahu but couldn’t get their storm-damaged boat home.
A U.S. Navy ship picked up Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava last week after they were found by a fishing boat, and brought them Monday to an American base in Okinawa in southern Japan.
Appel said on the flight deck of the USS Ashland that they managed to get almost all the way back in the summer, but realized they weren’t going to make it and started making distress calls. She said she hoped one of her friends from Hawaii who takes people out deep-sea fishing might cruise near them.
A Taiwanese fishing ship found them three months later. The Ashland picked them up Wednesday about 900 miles southeast of Japan.
Two sailors rescued after nearly six months lost at sea were effusive in their thanks to the crew of the ship that picked them up in the Pacific.
Tasha Fuiava said everyone she’s talked to on the USS Ashland has been open-hearted and has seemed to become “my new best friend.”
Jennifer Appel said in remarks the Navy shared on Sunday that she and Fuiava were honored to be on the ship and grateful for all the crew had done for them. “The open arms you guys have for us is top notch.”
The Ashland docked Monday at a base in Okinawa, Japan, five days after rescuing the sailors and their two dogs from their damaged sailboat.
A U.S. Navy ship carrying two sailors from Hawaii after it rescued them in the Pacific has docked at an American Navy base in Okinawa, Japan.
The USS Ashland arrived Monday at White Beach Naval Facility, five days after it picked up the women and their two dogs from their storm-damaged sailboat, 900 miles southeast of Japan.
Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava had left Honolulu on May 3 for what was supposed to be an 18-day trip to Tahiti.
Upon the ship’s arrival, the women could be seen standing on the bridgeway with the commanding officer and others about six stories high at the top of the ship.