Questions Arise About Women Rescued After Months at Sea

“They stated that while they felt distressed they did not feel that they were going to perish in the next 24 hours,” mentioned Lt. Cmdr. Scott Carr, a Coast Guard spokesman.

#USSAshland rescues distressed mariners who had drifted astray, stranded in Pacific Ocean for a number of months. https://t.co/O9EW4QjW8U pic.twitter.com/tWrAfggvAF


AmphibForce7thFleet (@Amphib7FLT)
Oct. 26, 2017

In a Navy video, Ms. Appel mentioned that the pair left Honolulu for an roughly six-month journey on May three, encountering, on the primary night time, a fierce storm that lasted for 3 days.

Weather information, nevertheless, contradict that declare. No organized thunderstorms moved by means of the realm on the time, mentioned Charlie Woodrum, a National Weather Service meteorologist based mostly in Honolulu.

There was a small-craft advisory within the space, he mentioned, nevertheless it warned solely of wind speeds beneath 35 miles per hour. Ms. Appel mentioned that they’d confronted a “force 11” storm, which might have carried winds of 64 to 72 miles per hour.

Photo

Sailors from the usS. Ashland approaching Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava’s storm-damaged sailboat. The ladies and their canines had left Hawaii for Tahiti months earlier.

Credit
MCS3 Jonathan Clay/United States Navy

“In May, a force 11 storm is extremely rare,” Mr. Woodrum mentioned.

The ladies defended their account on Tuesday to The Associated Press, even after it identified these inconsistencies.

Final moments on #USSAshland as mariners specific appreciation & heartfelt goodbyes. pic.twitter.com/cT0VuKefBl


AmphibForce7thFleet (@Amphib7FLT)
Oct. 30, 2017

The A.P. additionally raised doubts concerning the ladies’s claims that their boat wouldn’t slot in some Hawaiian harbors, which it famous have been frequented by bigger vessels.

The ladies additionally described a few disturbing shark badaults.

At one level, a bunch of 5 tiger sharks 20 to 30 ft lengthy attacked their boat at night time to show two youthful sharks the right way to hunt, Ms. Appel mentioned on a name with reporters final week. In an interview with “Inside Edition” final week, she recalled a bunch of sharks observing her and Ms. Fuiava for every week earlier than attacking.

But there may be little credibility to these descriptions, mentioned George Burgess, the director emeritus of the Florida Program for Shark Research on the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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“It sounds like something a 4-year-old would tell you,” he mentioned. “No. No, no and no and no. There’s not an iota of accuracy relative to our knowledge of the shark in any of that.”

Tiger sharks are usually not social, don’t educate their younger in that approach and have by no means been recognized to develop that enormous, he mentioned. When requested, Mr. Burgess added that it was additionally unlikely that the ladies have been describing one other sort of shark.

“The only one that fits that pattern was the star of the movie ‘Jaws,’” he mentioned.

Many individuals conversant in crusing instantly voiced doubts on-line concerning the ordeal the ladies described.

Among them was Linus Wilson, a professor of finance on the University of Louisiana who blogs about crusing and has written books about his expertise crusing round numerous components of the world.

“It just does not seem believable that if you had a boat with a mast upright, and Ms. Appel said they could sail 4 to 5 knots, that they could not reach land,” he mentioned.

The ladies debarked the Navy ship that rescued them on Monday in Okinawa, Japan. Attempts to succeed in the ladies by phone on Wednesday both went unanswered or to numbers not related to them.

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