On May 3, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava took their two dogs and loaded up on a 2,700-mile trip from Oahu, Hawaii to Tahiti. But on May 30, a piece of the mast on their 50-foot sailboat failed and a storm flooded the engine, taking out the majority of their communication with it.
The two began to make distress calls and they attempted to get help to no avail.
Finally, a Taiwanese fishing boat found them and was able to contact American sailors to rescue them, saving their lives– and now they’re sharing their story.
They said that the most terrifying night of their journey was when a group of seven sharks slapped their tails on the hull of their boat– one of the women said she thinks the adult sharks were teaching the younger ones how to attack.
“I went downstairs with the boys and we basically laid huddled on the floor and I told them not to bark because the sharks could hear us breathing. They could smell us,” Appel told NBC News.
The women, now safe, said the incident has taken a mental toll on them both. “Thank God we were being rescued,” Appel said when recalling their first interaction with the U.S. Navy. “I have tears in my eye as I say this. It was incredibly emotional and it was so satisfying to know that the men and women who serve their country would come and assist us. It was actually quite mind-blowing and quite humbling.”
Despite the ordeal, Jennifer Appel says she’d still go sailing again.
“Well you’ve got to die sometime,” she said. “You might as well be doing something you enjoy when you’re doing it, right?”