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HONOLULU — Two women from Hawaii who were rescued after being lost at sea defended their account of the ordeal, insisting that a storm was whipping up 30-foot (9-meter) waves and near hurricane-force winds on the night they set sail, despite records that show no severe weather in the area at the time.The Coast Guard is reviewing records from the days after Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava put to sea in a 50-foot (15-meter) sailboat, but NASA satellite images for the days around their departure show no organized storms in the region where they planned to travel.
Localized squalls are known to pop up, but a storm lasting three days would have been visible on satellite and would have elicited mass warnings to the public to brace for the weather.If they had, rescuers would have been headed their way in a matter of minutes.The women said Tuesday that they did not use the beacon because they never felt they were in immediate danger, yet they have been quoted as saying they did not think they would survive another day, and that they were fearful during a dramatic tiger shark attack that lasted for six hours."I also believe that they knew they were damaging the boat.And if we couldn't get additional help, that boat would sink, and they would get ..."That's a lot of boat to handle." At some point, Appel joined the Hawai'i Actors Network, noting on the group's website that she has "been known to do almost any skydiving or motorcycle stunt — camera optional." Through the group, she found work as an extra in the former TV series "Off the Map" and the former sitcom "Cougar Town," appearing in that show in a pink bikini in the background of a season finale. ___ Associated Press writers Ken Moritsugu in Naha, Japan, and Rachel D'oro and Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska, contributed to this report.
HONOLULU — A planned voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti aboard a small sailboat didn't start off well for two Honolulu women. About a month into their trip, bad weather caused their engine to lose power. And then, as they drifted across thousands of miles of open ocean, their water purifier stopped working.
They originally said the crew was kind, but later said they were worried for their safety and thought that the crew might be making an attempt to harm them.
They added that the fishing boat had backed into their sailboat, causing significant damage.
They then saw someone waving a white object on a boat about a nautical mile away.
When they approached, the women asked to use the satellite phone on the fishing vessel and for a tow to Midway Island. Hawaii sailing experts say the trip itself was a bad idea.
Sometimes sharks will congregate around a food source like a whale carcass, but Holland said that was unlikely in this case "if there's nothing there to attract the animals.