Now imagine drifting at sea for nearly five months. That's what happened to two sailors and their two
dogs who’ve finally been rescued after getting into difficulty in the Pacific Ocean. I asked Jonathan
Turley about the story.
It's remarkable Val. Jennifer Apple and Tasha Freud, they are both from Honolulu, set out on their small
yacht with their two dogs from Hawaii to Tahiti, which is a very popular route with sailors. It should take
about three weeks, but they ran into some bad weather on the 30th of May. Their engine failed, but they tried
to carry on under sail power alone and make land. But they ended up drifting way way off track about 2000 miles
west of where they should have been. Two months in, they started issuing distress calls on a daily basis, but
they went unheard. It just seems that they weren't close enough to land or any other vessels to receive any help.
So how did the rescue unfold then? Who heard them in the end?
Well it was on Tuesday and they were 900 meters off the southeastern coast of Japan. And it was a Taiwanese
fishing boat who eventually heard their distress call. They alerted the Coast Guard in Guam who set about organizing
a rescue, and it was the US Navy vessel, the USS Ashland based in Japan, that took a detour and went to find them.
They recorded this footage of the moment with the two women and their dogs, who were clearly very relieved to see them.
So their arms waving, blowing kisses towards the sailors on the boat there. After five months , that must have
been an incredible moment. You know the dogs were very excited to see them.
And how's everybody doing now? Because I looked at the pictures and the dogs looked pretty thin didn't they.
Yes they did look a little bit malnourished, but they managed to survive on board, the women, with water purifiers
and about a year's supply of dried food, supplies that they had taken with them – oatmeal, rice, pasta, that kind of
thing. So they seemingly are in reasonably good health despite this very long ordeal, and they've been speaking to CBS
News affiliate KGMB in the US on the phone from the U.S. Navy vessel that they're on at the moment about their ordeal
It was very depressing and it was very hopeless, but it’s the only thing you can do. So you do what you can with
what you have. You have no other choice. We probably had less than 24 hours before our boat sank. It was incredibly
emotional, and it was so satisfying knowing the men and women that serve our country would come and assist us.
You’re alive, you’re fed, you have water, your boys are happy, and it’s love.
The boys are happy, being dogs, I guess she's referring to there. Now as I say, they’ve been medically checked out
and seemed to be in good health. There are some questions about how they were drifting for so long. The engine lost
power of course, but they were seemingly experienced sailors and would have been able to, you would thin, navigate using
cell power alone. But these things will undoubtedly become clear in the weeks and months ahead. Perhaps they had told
someone where they were going and you might think that somebody might have noticed that they'd been missing for so long.
But in a statement issued through the U.S. Navy, Jennifer Appel one of the women said I'm grateful for their service to
our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw them on the horizon was pure relief.
Well Jonathan Plate there with that happy story.