The media has been filled with headlines of the two Honolulu women who were rescued by the U.S. Navy after they had been lost at sea for nearly six months. However, the dramatic story has brought out several inconsistencies to light after they gave their account of events.
Tash Fuiva and Jennifer revealed that they intended to sail from Honolulu to Tahiti, then sail around the South Pacific before they could head back to Honolulu in November.
Unfortunately, they claim to have experienced engine problems after which they suffered damage to the boat’s masthead and all the communications was altered.
Here at thegoldwater.com, we believe the whole narrative was nothing less than a stunt. We therefore looked at some of the inconsistencies in the narrative that they gave.
Adverse Weather and a misplaced phone
The two women claim that they bumped into a fierce storm that unleashed 97kph winds with 30-foot seas. They also claim to have rode out of the storm which lasted for 3 days since they couldn’t access any port that was deep enough to accommodate their 50-foot sailboat.
On the contrary, the National Weather Service reported that no bad storms had been reported during that time. Unlike what they claimed, numerous ports on Maui and the Big Island can accommodate vessels as large as cruise ships.
They also claim to have lost their phones overboard in the May 3rd storm. However, the Coast Guard received a call from the captain of the Sea Nymph on May 6 that they lost a phone, but the agency could not clarify if those aboard lost a satellite phone or a cellular phone.
Inconsistencies in communications
The two women had six ways to communicate, all which they claim failed, from VHF radio to a satellite phone. A retired Coast Guard officer identified as Phil Johnson, who was responsible for search and rescue operations, revealed that it was unheard of for all communications to fail.
The boat was also equipped with an emergency beacon that uses satellites to send a location to authorities in minutes. However, one of the women told The Associated Press that the beacons only work if airplanes are flying overhead, and the pilots would relay the information to the Coast Guard. Her argument was that she didn't activate it because they were not under a known flight route.
"The system does not rely in any way on aircraft to pick up their signal and relay their information," Johnson said Tuesday by phone from Washington state. "It's all done by satellite."
Mariners are urged to file their planned routes with relatives or relatives just in case they experience any issues. This includes specifics about the trip, and when and where the boat will arrive.
This is similar to filing a backcountry hiking plan just in case one gets lost. One of the woman, identified as Appel, told reporters she left a plan with her mother in Houston, and with friends in Honolulu.
Fuiava and Appel met Coast Guard officials in Japan this week and learned no plan was filed. Fuiava also said she had informed family of their route and that relatives had reported the pair missing with calls from California, American Samoa and Alaska. The Coast Guard has no records of those calls.
The Tahiti Call
The Coast Guard plane was looking for another missing boat near Tahiti on June 15 and also tried to contact the women's vessel on VHF radio. However, it got a response from a boat identifying itself as the Sea Nymph, which said it planned to make land in Tahiti the following morning.
"There are many vessels out there," Carr said. "Was it a different vessel? We don't know."
The women claim that huge tiger sharks bombarded their boat for hours in an attempt to capsize the boat. They claimed one jumped out of the water and smashed into the vessel.
That’s not accurate according to University of Hawaii professor and veteran shark researcher Kim Holland who says that he has never heard stories of any kind of shark repeatedly attacking a boat.
"They wouldn't be tiger sharks, and they are not known to have any sort of coordinated feeding strategy, and also they don't come out of the water," Holland said. It’s a known fact that no sharks are known to hunt in packs, and the largest known tiger shark is 17 feet in length.
The women appeared to be out of radio contact for months, with no known sightings or communication. However, during an interview last week, they spoke of the storms, the sharks and attempts to get help in the island nation of Kiribati.
In an interview on Monday, they mentioned of an attempt to radio for help at Wake Island on Oct. 1 or 2. They claimed that the harbor is built for submarines and they couldn’t navigate without a motor. They also alleged to have sought help but no one seemed to understand what they were going through.
The women said the harbor there is built for submarines, and they couldn't navigate in without a motor. They called for help for a tow but said no one seemed to understand them and they drifted off.