Women and Two Dogs Found After 5 Months at Sea in Shark-Infested Water

Two Hawaii women and their dogs were rescued by US Navy after being stranded at sea for five months on a damaged boat, KHON reports.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava took to the waters this spring to travel from Honolulu to Tahiti, but the boat's engine died during rough weather on May 30.

They also reportedly lost their satellite phone overboard, according to Gizmodo. After two months off land, they could only send daily distress calls at a short range in hopes a nearby ship or shore station could help them.

Appel told KHON they survived the five month journey floating in the Pacific Ocean thanks to the water purifiers on board and the year's worth of food they stored, which was mainly pasta, rice and oatmeal.

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"It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless, she said.

"You can't get any help at all because you're in the middle of nowhere," Fuiava added. "And if it falls apart around you, you're swimming, and you're shark bait."

The pair shared a chilling story from their journey of their encounter with sharks who were angry at their intrusion.

"We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along," Appel recalled. "They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night."

The pair and their dogs were discovered by a Taiwanese fishing crew on Oct. 24, about 900 miles southeast of Japan.

They contacted the US Coast Guard stationed in Guam, then a Navy ship was sent to rescue Appel and Fuiava. The USS Ashland reached the broken boat on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and welcomed the women and their animals.

The rescued mariners will travel with the USS Ashland until the ship's next port of call.

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