Two women claim they were lost at sea for 5 months, however, the Coast Guard discovered the women never turned on their emergency beacon.
The Navy rescued Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava last Wednesday. The two sea drifters both from Honolulu, Hawaii, were trying to reach Tahiti by boat. A Taiwanese fishing vessel approximately 900 miles from southeast Japan spotted the ladies.
The U.S. Coast Guard now believes something is off about the story, reported The Associated Press.
The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), a device that communicates with satellites within minutes if there are issues on a ship, was never turned on. Appel had the emergency beacon on board and the device was properly registered, she claimed during a discussion with the Coast Guard, reported The Associated Press.
“If the thing was operational and it was turned on, a signal should have been received very, very quickly that this vessel was in distress,” Phillip R. Johnson, a former member of the Coast Guard, told The AP. “Failures are really rare,” Johnson said, adding: “There’s something wrong there.”
Rescuers would have found the women if the beacon were activated, he notes.
“We asked why during this course of time did they not activate the EPIRB,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Tara Molle said. “[Appel] had stated they never felt like they were truly in distress, like in a 24-hour period they were going to die.”
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