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Two women and their dogs rescued after five months lost at sea

Tasha Fuiaba couldn't stop smiling as she was finally rescued. Credit: Jonathan Clay/US Navy via AP

Two women and their dogs have finally been rescued after spending five months lost at sea.

Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiba and their pets Zeus and Valentine were trying to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti when they lost their engine in bad weather.

They made several distress calls but eventually drifted too far out for their pleas for help to be detected from land.

Zeus is lifted to safety. Credit: Jonathan Clay/US Navy via AP

Despite spotting other ships and firing flares, no one came to their aid.

Their boat was even attacked twice by tiger sharks.

But they were saved when the US Navy spotted them 900 miles off the coast off Japan - well off their planned course.

Jennifer Appel shakes the hand of Navy Commander Master Chief Gary Wise. Credit: Jonathan Clay/US Navy via AP

They told the navy they survived on pasta and oatmeal and had packed a water purifier.

Appel said: "It was very depressing and very hopeless but it's the only thing thing you can do, so you do what you can with what you have."

Describing the moment they were rescued, she added: "They saved our lives.

"The pride and smiles we had when we saw them on the horizon was pure relief."

  • The moment they were rescued by the US Navy

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Appel's mother Joyce told The Associated Press she never gave up hope her daughter would be found.

She said: "She is very resourceful and she's curious and as things break she tries to repair them so I knew the same thing would be true of the boat."

But despite the trouble she got into, Joyce said she doesn't think it will stop her daughter getting back out on the water.

"She's always enjoyed the water so I doubt that she'll stop sailing."