After five long months at sea, two American women and their dogs have been rescued by the US Coast Guard.
Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba were eventually able to catch the attention of a Taiwanese fishing boat after issuing distress calls for 98 days, and were picked up more than 1,400 kilometres southeast of Japan.
The pair had originally planned to travel from Hawaii to Tahiti, but lost their boat's engine during damaging weather in May. Even worse -- Appel and Fuiaba's mast later broke, and the duo were left with just their water purifier, and year's worth of rations, and their two dogs.
Appel and Fuiaba credited the presence of the dogs to their resolve to survive.
"There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night," said Appel from the USS Ashland, the US navy vessel that rescued them once the Taiwanese fishing boat passed on the distress signal.
The pair were more than 8,000 kilometres from their destination when they were picked up by the ship.
"They saved our lives," Appel said, "The pride and smiles we had when we saw [the navy] on the horizon was pure relief".
"It was incredibly emotional, and it was so satisfying to know the men and women that serve our country would come and assist us - it was actually quite mind-blowing and incredibly humbling."
Appel's mother told reporters that the pair were down to their last gallon of water when they were rescued.Suggest a correction