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CNN reports they were initially spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel after almost five months lost at sea.

A pair of women from Hawaii meant to sail for Tahiti but bad weather and technical problems left them adrift at sea for months, sometimes among sharks. They sent daily distress calls that nobody heard.

A Taiwanese fishing boat spotted the tired sailors 900 miles off Japan.

Two women and their dogs are safe after being stranded at sea.

"Both of them, we actually thought it was lights out, and they were horrific", Appel said.

One of their mobile phones was washed overboard on their first day at sea, and from then things only got worse.

"They saved our lives", said Ms Appel through the Navy release.

"We were just incredibly lucky that our hull was strong enough to withstand the onslaught ..."

They survived on water purifiers and a years supply of dry food.

Currently, the sailboat is adrift, but Appel and Fuiava hope another ship finds it and it can be repaired.

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She also said the ordeal was life-changing, Hawaii News Now reported: "There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night".

The Navy discovered the boat Tuesday, about 900 miles southeast of Japan - which is thousands of miles away from Tahiti.

Following a joint operation by Japanese, Taiwanese and US teams, a US Navy ship reached the sailors on Wednesday morning - and rescued them after their boat was deemed "unseaworthy".

"The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation", said Cmdr.

Ashland Command Master Chief Gary Wise welcomes aboard Jennifer Appel.

. They often had to get creative, such as when two of their watermakers (a device that turns salt water into drinking water) failed, and they combined working pieces from each of the machines to make a functioning one. That is when she said water flooded their engine.

The sailboat was deemed unseaworthy and is now drifting out at sea, a Navy spokesman said during the call from the Ashland.

The pair and their dogs will remain on board the USS Ashland until it reaches its next port.

Speaking about their rescue, Jennifer Appel explained: "I'm grateful for their service to our country".

"I had hope all along, she is very resourceful and she's curious and as things break she tries to fix them, she doesn't sit and wait for the repairman to get there, so I knew the same thing would be true of the boat".

"When I saw the grey ship on the horizon, I was just shaking, I was so happy, I knew we were going to live", Appel says.


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