Women lost at sea return to dry land for first time in months

(Image: Hawaii News Now/CBS feed)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/CBS feed)

OKINAWA, JAPAN (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two Hawaii women lost at sea for nearly 5 months hugged each other as the Navy ship that rescued them pulled into port Sunday afternoon in Okinawa, Japan.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava were picked up by the USS Ashland last Wednesday. They were drifting for months after the mast and motor of their 50-foot vessel broke during what was supposed to be an 18-day trip to Tahiti.

They were 900 miles off the coast of Japan — and thousands of miles in the wrong direction — when a Taiwanese fishing vessel found them and contacted the Navy.

"The crew of the USS Ashland saved our lives," the women said in a press conference Sunday. "These fine men and women behind us took us into their care, brought us under their wing, gave us safety, took care of our animals, gave us toothbrushes, things that we didn't even think about bringing with us when we left."

Both were uninjured and in good spirits when they were finally rescued with their two dogs Zeus and Valentine.

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