USS Ashland rescues distressed mariners and dogs

Image: Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay, US Navy
Image: Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay, US Navy

The US Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) has rescued two distressed mariners whose yacht had strayed well off its original course.

Honolulu mariners Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava and their dogs had set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti.

They suffered an engine casualty on May 30 but continued their journey in the belief they could make it to land by sail.

They were discovered by a Taiwanese fishing vessel about 1,450 kilometres southeast of Japan.

The vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector Guam, which then coordinated with Taipei Rescue Coordination Centre, the Japan Coordination Centre and the Joint Coordination Center in Honolulu to render assistance.

After assessing the sailboat as unseaworthy, Ashland crew members brought the distressed mariners and their two dogs aboard the ship.

Once on Ashland, the mariners were provided with medical assessments, food and berthing arrangements. They will remain on board until Ashland’s next port of call.

Ms Appel said they survived the situation by bringing water purifiers and more than a year’s worth of food on board, primarily dry goods such as oatmeal, pasta and rice.

Ashland is part of the US 7th Fleet’s forward deployed naval forces out of Sasebo, Japan.

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