The two women who originally claimed that they were marooned at sea for five months are now saying they were “never lost,” according to a Wednesday interview.
Jennifer Appel, 48, and Tasha Fuiava, 26, refuted the speculation concerning their search and rescue on the Pacific Ocean during an interview with NBC News. The women claimed they were never lost at sea and the reason they called for help was due to a Taiwanese fishing vessel that allegedly tried to “kill them.”
“We were never ‘lost at sea.’ We knew where we were the entire time,” Appel said, adding, “While the media portrayed a rescue with the Taiwanese fishing vessel, they were actually the reason why we called for help.”
“The Taiwanese fishing vessel was not planning to rescue us. They tried to kill us during the night,” Appel continued, claiming that the vessel purposely rammed their smaller boat.
One of the largest areas of speculation has centered on the fact that the women never used their emergency beacon, which alerts satellites if there are issues. Appel now claims it was because she was afraid to use her distress signal, so she used a satellite phone instead.
“I was able to get on the surfboard and get on their boat, make an actual phone call,” Appel said. “Because no one spoke English, it was easier and safer for me to relay the information to the U.S. Coast Guard-Guam sector that we were in danger without them realizing what we were saying.”
The women originally planned an 18-day trip from Hawaii to Tahiti, but claimed that a storm and shark attack threw them off course. Experts have denied both of these allegations, since NASA imagery does not show any record of a huge storm at this time, and sharks are not known to interact in that manner.
Despite this refutation, the two sailors doubled down on the fact that they weren’t lying during a Wednesday interview on the Today Show.
The women plan on setting sail again by building a new “unsinkable and unbreakable boat” for a potential voyage next May.
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