November 1, 2017

About those 2 women (with their 2 dogs) lost at sea for 5 months, buffeted by storms and sharks and rescued by the Navy.

You were skeptical of their story when we talk about it a while ago, and here's a new WaPo story about how people are doubting them:
On Monday, a spokesman from the Coast Guard told the AP there was an emergency beacon on board the sailboat that was never activated. Initially, the women said they were equipped with communications devices, including six different kinds that all died....

“We asked why during this course of time they did not activate the EPIRB,” a Coast Guard spokeswoman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle, told the AP. “She had stated they never felt like they were truly in distress, like in a 24-hour period they were going to die.”...

They said so in spite of the fact that upon being rescued, the women said they were doubtful they could survive another day and that they endured a shark attack lasting six hours.

That shark attack — in which the women described 20-foot sharks ramming the boat in a coordinated attack — is also being questioned by scientists who study sharks and their behavior. Kim Holland, a professor at the University of Hawaii and a shark researcher, told the AP that he has never heard of the kind of prolonged, coordinated attack described by the sailors. Sharks might home in on a single food source, but there would be nothing attracting them to a boat hull, Holland said....
Maligning sharks... that's particularly insidious. 

IN THE COMMENTS: Ignorance is Bliss said:
They're gonna need a bigger lie...

90 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

"That shark attack — in which the women described 20-foot sharks ramming the boat in a coordinated attack — is also being questioned by scientists who study sharks and their behavior."

-- That's... wow. How'd I miss that detail? My B.S. alarm would've gone off at that.

AllenS said...

Those 2 women were poor story tellers.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

They're gonna need a bigger lie...

Henry said...

Those 2 women were poor story tellers.

They should have claimed a giant squid attack.

cubanbob said...

Its rather obvious their story reeks of bullshit but the question is why the lies?

gg6 said...

Yes, the only thing they haven't yet claimed to suffer during their extended saga was Lunch in Harvey's suite.

Michael K said...

This is a hoax but I haven't figured out their angle. Maybe a GoFundMe campaign.

MathMom said...

They should have read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand before they set out. There are shark attacks in that book. They could have used those!

Owen said...

If sharks attack a boat for hours, won't they leave marks?

My BS meter is twitching. If they start talking about how Harvey Weinstein tried to ram them in his yacht, we'll know.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael K said...

This is a hoax but I haven't figured out their angle.

My guess is they were looking for a book/movie deal

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I can't figure out the motive for this obviously totally BS story either. They are clearly weirdoes ~ they had known each other for precisely one week and the Samoan girl had never been sailing when they decided to take this trip. ???

In my experience people who choose to live in Hawaii are weird, in the same way that people who end up in Alaska are weird. If you like shoes you go to Alaska; if you hate shoes you go to Hawaii. That's my rule of thumb.

JLScott said...

Did the shark attack take place right after one of the women told the harrowing story explaining why she will never put on a life jacket again?

Nonapod said...

Seems more and more like they're just a couple of mildly deranged attention seekers. Perhaps they really did set from Hawaii with the intention of going to Tahiti (already a questionable decision) and when things didn't go their way they went a little batty, refusing to admit they could be in over their heads. So when they were finally rescued they just started conconcting a bunch of BS stories to help justify what was ultimately just a series of idiotic choices.

gg6 said...

I think the 'angle' here is the usual modern malady - a lust for attention, bright lights, excitement, photos, interviews, talk shows, a moment of fame - the world record for LIKES on Facebook etc.
Puke.

Unknown said...

Not to mention they had functioning sails on their sailboat. What are they up to? They certainly had plenty of time to come up with a better lie.

-sw

Bob Boyd said...

If they can figure out how the whole thing's Trump's fault the media will stop asking difficult questions and they'll have it made.

mockturtle said...

And Hillary was met with sniper fire in Bosnia....

Bad Lieutenant said...

The fish thought that they had packed everything, but they forgot the bicycle.

Just needed one man, one man, to come aboard and fix things and show them what t9 do. I wonder if they stood watches.

jaydub said...

"Not to mention they had functioning sails on their sailboat."

Not a fair statement. They didn't realize it was a sailboat.

Henry said...

You can't get lost these days.

Gahrie said...

Guys...aren't you forgetting something? These are WOMEN!

Women must never be held accountable or made to feel bad about the choices they have made!

You should all be ashamed...(except any of you who are women of course)

Oso Negro said...

Blogger I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
They are clearly weirdoes ~ they had known each other for precisely one week and the Samoan girl had never been sailing when they decided to take this trip. ???


Well, there is the old joke about lesbians bringing U-hauls on the first date.

traditionalguy said...

Obviously they were Russians trying to set a meeting with KGB Agent Trump by passing messages through the Coast Guard cut out using a false flag rescue. CNN will have all the details soon.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Cubanbob: Its rather obvious their story reeks of bullshit but the question is why the lies?"

How many husbands did they start out with on the trip?

madAsHell said...

An old joke.....

What do you call the second date of a lesbian relationship?
Moving-in day.

Oh Yea said...

I don't think thee is any mystery to this:

"At some point, Appel joined the Hawai’i Actors Network, noting on the group’s website that she has “been known to do almost any skydiving or motorcycle stunt — camera optional.” Through the group, she found work as an extra in the former TV series “Off the Map” and the former sitcom “Cougar Town,” appearing in that show in a pink bikini in the background of a season finale.

A call to the actors’ network was not returned."

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2017/10/31/key-parts-of-womens-tale-of-survival-at-sea-contradicted/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB%2011.01.2017&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

Oh Yea said...

I don't think there...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Did the sharks have laser beams mounted on their heads?

dreams said...

Oh! what a tangled web we weave......

Nonapod said...

The real victims here are the dogs. It must be embarrassing to have such attention seeking nitwits for mistresses.

David Baker said...

They probably were drifting around for five months, but drifting around isn't much of a book or movie plot. Hence the giant sharks, non-existent hurricane, and just about anything else they could conjure up.

And it required a lot of skill to avoid getting rescued prematurely.

So, give 'em credit (and buy the book).

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SDaly said...

It was probably a set up for a book / movie deal for their story.

SDaly said...

Diverse women in danger who survived on the open seas with their trusty dogs. The story was made for Lifetime! or Oprah's network.

eric said...

Would have been easier to get attention if they just accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harrassment.

mockturtle said...

There are, of course, women who have sailed around the world solo, who knew what they were doing and handled crises with aplomb. Unfortunately, there are always nitwits who don't. Male and female, I might add.

Larry Day said...

I haven't read the article. What proof have they offered that they were actually out at sea for months on end?

mockturtle said...

To addend my previous comment, consider if Chris McCandless [Into the Wild had been a woman. The sheer stupidity of his actions would have been attributed to his gender. C'mon, guys. Admit it!

CJinPA said...

To addend my previous comment, consider if Chris McCandless [Into the Wild had been a woman. The sheer stupidity of his actions would have been attributed to his gender. C'mon, guys. Admit it!

Attributed...where? In blog comments or mainstream media? In 2017, such a woman would have been celebrated, per the Althouse Rule.

Of course, female survivalists are not as common as male ones, so I can imagine that the gender angle would get more play.

George M. Spencer said...

In 1989, the Rose-Noelle, a trimaran out of New Zealand, capsized in the Pacific. The four men onboard were all strangers to each other. They were adrift for 119 days. When they finally came to shore (back in New Zealand), police investigated them because they were in such healthy condition.

Who knows what the truth is with this new story, but in the case of the Rose-Noelle, the captain decided to make a trans-Pacific journey with three strangers (two of the three men were acquaintances). A few days out, they hit a terrible storm. The three 'crewmen' panicked. The captain made a bad decision. The boat flipped. They had plenty of food which they supplemented by fishing.

The police thought they were drug smugglers.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10600306

Sacto_Dave said...

My first thought when I saw the pictures of them was how healthy and well fed they appeared. Especially the younger woman. Come on, she has 20lb. of 'extra' weight on her. You don't get that living off fish and seaweed.

Mac McConnell said...

I imagine that boat reeked of fish after months of lesbian sex and no shower.

Etienne said...

One girl was a Samoan. The worst thing to feed a Samoan is pasta. Their bodies can't process it.

Ralph L said...

One of the women and the dog weren't skinny enough to be at sea that long. They wouldn't have known to ration food severely until later in the voyage, so they should have run out or very low.

Martin said...

Hell, I just looked at the picture of one of them and one of the dogs on the day this broke--they looked just fine, like they had spent the afternoon on San Francisco Bay--and I said "Bulls**t."

Yancey Ward said...

When I saw the pictures of the women, my BS detector was also going off. Neither one of them looked like people who were stranded at sea for 5 months.

Freeman Hunt said...

If the mast broke, leaving them adrift, and the other communications devices would not work, it does, indeed, seem strange that they would not activate the EPIRB. Any sailors care to weigh in?

Christy said...

I've sailed with cats and litter boxes. I'm trying to figure out how to train grown dogs to use a designated spot. All the sailboat owners I know are pretty anal about keeping decks clean.

MaxedOutMama said...

The issue is not using the emergency beacon rather than the implausibility of the shark story.

MaxedOutMama said...

Note: I didn't believe it because of the condition of the dogs. The women also did not seem to have been under any physical stress whatsoever. But what the heck, I'm just a born skeptic. About everything but God. I am sure God exists; everything else should at least present with strong evidence.

Bill said...

How dare you question the lived experiences of women!

surfed said...

Maligning sharks? I hate sharks. Thoroughly. They scare the shit out of me going pn 52 years now - since I started surfing in 1965. Why just the other day I looked down as I exited a tasty inside section at the North Jetties and saw that I was surfing over half a dozen black tips. Yikes!

mockturtle said...

They're gonna need a bigger lie...

Ignorance is Bliss has the post of the day. Maybe the week.

Unknown said...

surfed
I believe you are in Jacksonville. Big big sharks caught off that public pier. Creepy.

iqvoice said...

Did their provisions include a 12-month-supply of pot brownies?

eddie willers said...

Ignorance is Bliss has the post of the day. Maybe the week.

Yes. I clicked on this thread just to see it in its original glory.

lgv said...

I have literally had my camera rig inside the mouth of a Tiger Shark. I have a photo of a copepod on the sharks tongue. The shark story is beyond any reasonable belief. Different species act differently, but unless they are dangling a bloody limb in the water, sharks are not going to attack the boat.

I didn't read much about their sailing/boating experience, but anyone with any experience is going to know that the EPIRB is going to be the most important lifeline in case of emergency. We used to carry them in air tight canisters while diving the Galapagos. Granted, when someone needed to use it, they couldn't open the canister, but all turned out OK. Lone divers would get bumped occasionally by a Silkie, but were never truly at risk of shark attack.

They were like the marathon runner who crossed the finish line barely having broke a sweat. Hmmm.

"Would have been easier to get attention if they just accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harrassment."

Not any more.

Fabi said...

Dog shit is the very last thing you want on deck. Are lesbians generally tidy?

iqvoice said...

Chris McCandless was an idiot. The genius was Jon Krakauer, who turned the biography of a self-destructive spoiled-little-rich-kid into a compelling story.

Kep Hartman said...

Suspicious Details That Make You Go "Hmmmmm":
*Mast not broken(though, to be fair, one of the pulleys at the top may have become hopelessly jammed, and they were too timid/ignorant to attempt to climb the mast and fix its "brokenness")
*the claim that they ran out of fuel after two days (fuel is for adjusting anchor and motoring into and out of port, not actual travel)
*health (fat-levels) of women and dogs
*a year's supply of food onboard before departure (can you imagine how much space that took up in the cabin?!)
*Failure to activate EPIRB (Emergency Position indicating Radio Beacon)
*Failure of their other communications gear (a boat that cannot communicate is as risky as one without navigation lights, and a good sailor, one not a nitwit newbie, would keep their comm's in solid condition)

Given these facts, in aggregate, the motivation to "create a crisis that they survive to gain attention/fame/and a book+movie deal" seems all to plausible.

Fabi said...

Having now watched the video, calling those two women sailors is tragic misnomer.

Clyde said...

I'm surprised they haven't said that Harvey Weinstein came along in a big yacht and sexually harassed them.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My original assumption was that they both planned this as a scam to get publicity.

But what if it was more of a false imprisonment type scenario? The one who knew how to sail could have been lying to the other. Sorry, radio stopped working...now the engine won't start...oh, the mast is broken. Even the shark attack at night could have been faked, slapping the hull with a paddle while the victim was below deck, pointing in the dark and saying oh, did you see that!

I'm not saying this is likely, but it's certainly a better story than the one they came up with.

robother said...

"A three hour tour, a three hour tour..."

I only hope that they can direct the navy to the uncharted island where the remaining passengers of the Minnow await.

Michael K said...

I am a sailor and this does
not pass the smell test. Let alone a lesbian smell test.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

This reminds of the great James Mason move, A Touch of Larceny, which come to think of it involved a bit of phony collusion with the Russians.

In a fish story, the fish always get bigger with each retelling, and who knows how many times they retold the story to each other. I’m sure if they think on it, they’ll realize they got their departure date from Hawaii wrong. It was actually just before that big storm. And those sharks were whales. Who attack boats like in Moby Dick.

JAORE said...

As it turns out they did it as pretense for a movie plot.

Sadly they had reached agreement with Harvey Weinstein and sailed away BEFORE to scandal broke.

Scott McGlasson said...

Ignorance is Bliss

Well-crafted, sir.

Big Mike said...

That shark attack — in which the women described 20-foot sharks ramming the boat in a coordinated attack — is also being questioned by scientists who study sharks and their behavior. Kim Holland, a professor at the University of Hawaii and a shark researcher, told the AP that he has never heard of the kind of prolonged, coordinated attack described by the sailors.

Maybe the scientists never heard of anything like that attack because these two women are the first people who survived it? (But for the record, I think their story smells like a fish fillet you bought in the supermarket and accidentally left on the floor of the trunk for several days in the hot sun.)

Expat(ish) said...

If you go to the USCG and search for "Sea Nymph" (http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/VesselByName.html) you will see (3rd result) that it is a 36ft boat as registered, though it looks bigger to me. Tax thing maybe. I also could not find a 36ft boat manufactured by that company.

One of the gals also claimed to have added "six tons of fiberglass" to the boat.

The gross tonnage of the boat as registered looks right, and is given at 18tons so adding 6t would be ... hard. Plus expensive, I reckon 6 tons of fiberglass and resin would cost a bazillion dollars. Wait, let's do the math.

20 square yards of 10oz cloth is $75(ish) dollars which gives you 200 oz or 12.5lbs. Resin is heavier but much much more expensive, so let's just assume the 6 tons was all cloth. That would take 960 rolls (12,000lbs / 12.5) and the rolls would cost $72k.

Even if they bulked it up on the cheap that's not trivial. Forget actually doing it.

FWIW, the 45ft version of this boat can be had in very very nice shape for $85K. What they had was rode hard and put away salty.

Smells bad anyway.

_XC

Carter Wood said...

IGV said:The shark story is beyond any reasonable belief. Different species act differently, but unless they are dangling a bloody limb in the water, sharks are not going to attack the boat.

Small life rafts are different than the large boat the two used, I know, but I recall this Lauren Hildebrand passage about Louis Zamperini and his raftmates in her Unbroken.


The sharks, which Louie thought were of the mako and reef species, were so close that the men would only have to extend their hands to touch them. The smallest were about six feet long; some were double that size. They bent themselves around the rafts as they swam, testing the fabric, dragging their fins along the bottom and sides, but not trying to get at the men on top. They seemed to be waiting for the men to come to them.

More here.

mandrewa said...

mockturtle said, There are, of course, women who have sailed around the world solo, who knew what they were doing and handled crises with aplomb.

I liked Maidentrip which is a documentary about Laura Dekker, who circumnavigated the world by herself when she was 16 years old. The journey took one year and five months. She and her father had spent I think over a year repairing the boat that her father had acquired for a relatively small amount of money. Her father also did a one month overhaul of the boat mid-voyage. She homeschooled through "Worldschool" while on the trip.

She of course had years of experience before she attempted this.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

I immediately was sceptical when a read about "water purifiers" which produced enough drinking water from seawater, for 2 women and 2 dogs for 5 months. What kind of water purifiers can do that? Maybe a still but where did they get 5 months worth of fuel to run a still?

Oso Negro said...

Diogenes, FWIW I have three hand-operated RO units I bought as government surplus. Theoretically about a gallon an hour by hand pumping.

Christopher said...

link below to the debunking account. Sorry, can't do proper home link on my smartphone.

I also read a sailor's forum where this has been met with disbelief for days.
https://unreasonablydangerousonionrings.com/2017/10/31/19-reasons-this-survival-story-smells-fishy/

Christopher said...

above should have read, the best debunking account.

Birches said...

I kinda agree with you Mockturtle, but I also don't understand how anyone can read Into The Wild without pulling their hair out. I know too many who think about that book romantically.

Paul said...

"That shark attack — in which the women described 20-foot sharks ramming the boat in a coordinated attack — is also being questioned by scientists who study sharks and their behavior."

Sounds like a part of the movie series... SHARKNADO!!!

Steven said...

If they aren't liars, they're total idiots. Either way, the only attention they should get is mockery.

mandrewa said...

Thanks for that link, Christopher. "19 reasons this survival story smells fishy" was pretty funny.

See https://unreasonablydangerousonionrings.com/2017/10/31/19-reasons-this-survival-story-smells-fishy/

It seems like not only did they lie, but everything they said may have been a lie. The real difficulty is trying to imagine what actually happened. The trouble is any plausible story implies just one stupid move after another, but then we have the mystery of how people that there are this dumb managed to be out there for 5 months and yet somehow come out of it in such great physical condition?

Michael K said...

"Maybe a still but where did they get 5 months worth of fuel to run a still?"

There are solar stills intended for life rafts. Many sailboats have desalination plants run by the engine.

There are also hand pumped units as mentioned by Oso Negro.

This whole story is a hoax of some sort. Sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti is commonly done.There used to be a race to Tahiti from California, still run once in a while. that uses a course almost to Hawaii, then south as the trade winds in the northern hemisphere are northwesterly blowing, as you get more south, more westerly. Those in the southern hemisphere are southwesterly blowing north and west.

You go south from approximately Hawaii and then head a little east to keep from getting pushed too far west.

I don't believe their story.

mockturtle said...

Mandrewa says: I liked Maidentrip which is a documentary about Laura Dekker, who circumnavigated the world by herself when she was 16 years old. The journey took one year and five months. She and her father had spent I think over a year repairing the boat that her father had acquired for a relatively small amount of money. Her father also did a one month overhaul of the boat mid-voyage. She homeschooled through "Worldschool" while on the trip.

Another is Tanya Aebi's Maiden Voyage. She was also in her teens.

David said...

The book deal is fading fast, unless during the voyage they were sexually harassed by some horny American Navy sailors who then threatened their careers if they spoke out.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

Birches said...
"I kinda agree with you Mockturtle, but I also don't understand how anyone can read Into The Wild without pulling their hair out. I know too many who think about that book romantically."

That guy and "grizzleyman" What did they think would happen? You step off the berm and into the the wild you better be prepared. You might care a whole lot about the environment and nature , but nature does not give one shit about you.
As for these two yentas. Of course it's a scam.

lgv said...

Carter Wood:

Small life rafts are different than the large boat the two used, I know, but I recall this Lauren Hildebrand passage about Louis Zamperini and his raftmates in her Unbroken.


The sharks, which Louie thought were of the mako and reef species, were so close that the men would only have to extend their hands to touch them. The smallest were about six feet long; some were double that size. They bent themselves around the rafts as they swam, testing the fabric, dragging their fins along the bottom and sides, but not trying to get at the men on top. They seemed to be waiting for the men to come to them.


Makos can be aggressive, but you don't see them in larger groups. Reefies will check you or your raft out to see if you might be food, but are very unlikely to actually attack.

Oceanic White Tips will eat you if you are floating in the water. All others are a case of mistaken identity. One bite and they let you go.
I have spent days and hours trying to lure sharks in. The idea that they would coordinate an attack on hard vessel is ridiculous. I will excuse the "20'" estimate, which is also crazy, but few people can accurately measure by view.

MrCharlie2 said...

My understanding is that if you activate the beacon, and then get rescued, your boat gets scuttled (sunk). Maybe they were trying to avoid that. I wonder what happened to the boat, in the end.

kentuckyliz said...

Quick, write the lesbian kidnapping at sea (a la Ignorance is Bliss' take) and sell it, before they do.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger kentuckyliz said...
Quick, write the lesbian kidnapping at sea (a la Ignorance is Bliss' take) and sell it, before they do.


They could call the movie S.S. Cloverfield.

lgv said...

"My understanding is that if you activate the beacon, and then get rescued, your boat gets scuttled (sunk). Maybe they were trying to avoid that. I wonder what happened to the boat, in the end."

I don't think that is the case.