For five months, two Hawaii female sailors had to survive on their own a storm damaged their sailboat beyond repair. The rescue teams found the victims of an accident stranded 933 miles southeast of Japan on October 25. Now that the women are safe, an investigation into this event is ongoing. However, the story doesn’t add up. The two sailors had access to six different communication technologies.
The Two Female Sailors Didn’t Deem Their Situation Critical Enough to Use EPIRB
Early reports on the case of the two lost sailors, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, indicated how they faced severe storms and even shark attacks. However, recent statements contradict such a panicked experience.
Officials are wondering why the two women didn’t activate their emergency beacon or EPIRB during the five months they were stranded. Coast Guard spokeswoman Tara Molle claimed that officials had interviewed the women on this topic.
“She had stated they never felt like they were truly in distress, like in a 24-hour period they were going to die.”
The lack of a life and death situation prevented the sailors from resorting to all their six communication means. However, other inconsistencies created suspicions around women’s story.
Official Data Hold No Records of a Force 11 Storm on May 3
For instance, the two female sailors claimed that on May 3, a vicious Force 11 storm smashed the mast and rigging of their boat. This was the beginning of their five-month distress. However, the National Weather Service in Honolulu registered no storm that day. On top of that, NASA satellite imagery recorded clear sky in that period.
Appel and Fuiava claimed that they resorted to distress signals for the first 98 days without any reply. However, they failed to mention anything about their EPIRB device that remained inactive.
The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon became a governmental requirement to be present aboard passenger vessels. This device is transmitting a coded message for around 48 hours through satellite to the nearest rescue center.
An associate professor of finance at the University of Louisiana, Linus Wilson, fears that this story would frighten others from taking up sailing as a new hobby. However, he reassures enthusiasts that this particular case doesn’t reflect the true sailboat cruising community.
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