HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii women who say they were lost at sea on a sailboat for months never activated their emergency beacon, the U.S. Coast Guard said, adding to a growing list of inconsistencies that cast doubt on their harrowing tale of survival.
The women previously told The Associated Press that they had radios, satellite phones, GPS and other emergency gear, but they didn’t mention the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB.
A Coast Guard review of the incident and subsequent interviews with the women revealed that they had an EPIRB aboard their boat but never turned it on.
A retired Coast Guard officer who was responsible for search and rescue operations said that if the women had used the emergency beacon, they would have been found.
Get ouuuuttttttttt of here with this story. You gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to sneak a story like this by me and folks, I was up real fucking early this morning. 5 months at sea? Give me a break. I don’t even need any AP reporting on this, all I need is to hear “5 months lost at sea” and a quick look at these two with my eyeballs to see they clearly made this shit up. You don’t get “lost at sea” for FIVE months and turn up looking all smiley and happy and healthy.
Okay so maybe that’s cynical. Maybe that’s just me projecting my own misery again. Maybe you want to see some actual facts. Well, let’s ask the professionals and check in on the details.
One, they had an emergency beacon that, by all accounts, was working fine, and, if turned on, would have had them located and rescued within the hour. Never turned it on. Just never even hit the switch. It was just sitting there. Unused. The RESCUE BEACON.
Alright, maybe it WASN’T working. Luckily they had SIX other forms of communication. Oops, they all broke.
Appel and Fuiava also said they had six forms of communication that all failed to work.
“There’s something wrong there,” Johnson said. “I’ve never heard of all that stuff going out at the same time.”
Now an info dump:
Key elements of the women’s account are contradicted by authorities, and are not consistent with weather reports or basic geography of the Pacific Ocean. The discrepancies raised questions about whether Appel and her sailing companion, Tasha Fuiava, could have avoided disaster.
On their first day at sea, the two women described running into a fierce storm that tossed their vessel with 60 mph (97 kph) winds and 30-foot (9-meter) seas for three days, but meteorologists say there was no severe weather anywhere along their route during that time.
After leaving “we got into a Force 11 storm, and it lasted for two nights and three days,” Appel has said of the storm they encountered off Oahu. In one of the first signs of trouble, she said she lost her cellphone overboard.
“We were empowered to know that we could withstand the forces of nature,” Appel said. “The boat could withstand the forces of nature.”
But the National Weather Service in Honolulu said no organized storm systems were in or near Hawaii on May 3 or in the days afterward. Archived NASA satellite images confirm there were no tropical storms around Hawaii that day.
Some of those freak storms that don’t register with the National Weather Service. See it all the time. These guys literally study the weather professionally for a living with multi trillion dollar dopplers and radars and shit. Their conclusion is that there was, in fact, no storms. But don’t tell that to these two looney toons.
Alright so there were freak storms that they invented in their heads but maybe actually happened. Now what. Turn back? That sounds reasonable.
First option – Maui and Lanai. Damn. Nothing to accommodate their sailboat.
The pair said they thought about turning back, but the islands of Maui and Lanai didn’t have harbors deep enough to accommodate their sailboat. At 50 feet (15 meters) long, the vessel is relatively small, and both islands have harbors that accommodate boats of that size. Plus, the Big Island — the southernmost island in Hawaii — has several places to dock.
Alright, contrary to the rumors that there are plenty of places to dock..they didn’t have a place to dock. On to the next piece of land.
Fuck. It’s an uninhabited island. Won’t be any help there.
Days later, after parts of their mast and rigging failed, they sailed up to another small island, still with a working motor, but decided against trying to land, believing the island was mostly uninhabited with no protected waters.
“It is uninhabited. They only have habitation on the northwest corner and their reef was too shallow for us to cross in order to get into the lagoon,” Appel said.
But Christmas Island, part of the island nation of Kiribati, is home to more than 2,000 people and has a port that routinely welcomes huge commercial ships.
The island has at least two airfields, and women had flares aboard to alert people on land. Plus, its widest point spans about 30 miles (48 kilometers), a day’s hike to safety from even the most remote area.
Ah, turns out that uninhabited place had like 2,000+ inhabitants, two airfields, and a quick walk to any area of the island.
Final resort? Islands 1,000 miles away!
So, instead of stopping for help, they say they set a new destination about 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) away and a few hundred miles beyond their original target of Tahiti. They were headed to the Cook Islands.
Classic rescue technique – sail as far away as possible in your broken ship ravaged by storms that happened in your head.
I don’t know the reasoning here. I don’t know the plan. I don’t know what they were after. I’m sure all of that will come out. All I know is this story:
Grow up Gay Pat.
(I am happy they are safe and sound though even if they are liars)