Women Lost at Sea Now Say 'Rescuers' Tried to Kill Them
'They tried to kill us during the night'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2017 1:57 PM CST
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Jennifer Appel, holding a Garmin GPS device, and Tasha Fuiava discuss their five months of possibly being lost at sea with Matt Lauer Wednesday on "Today."   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Amid mounting questions, two women who may or may not have been lost at sea for five months are sticking to their story—which involves a massive storm and "terrifying" shark attacks—and adding one new wrinkle: the Taiwanese fishing vessel that was reported to have rescued them actually tried to kill them, NBC News reports. In an interview with Matt Lauer Wednesday on Today, Jennifer Appel, 48, said the fishing vessel rammed their 50-foot sailboat on purpose. "The Taiwanese fishing vessel was not planning to rescue us," she said. "They tried to kill us during the night." She said that was what finally prompted her to call the Coast Guard for help—after never activating their boat's emergency beacon—which she did by using a surfboard to board the fishing vessel and use its satellite phone.

Appel earlier claimed she and Tasha Fuiava, 26, were beset by a Force 11 storm with massive waves soon after leaving Hawaii in May, but NOAA has no record of that size a storm in the area at the time, People reports. On Wednesday, Appel said she believes officials are underestimating storm sizes. Fuiava, on the other hand, said she slept through the storm, which apparently took out their boat's engine and damaged its mast. The pair also maintained tiger sharks repeatedly hit the boat with their tails despite experts saying that would be highly unusual. Appel said the sharks were telling them, "You're in our living room." A couple other oddities from the interview: Appel denied the Coast Guard's claim that it contacted them in June; denied, in fact, ever actually being "lost at sea"; and, as Time reports, twice interrupted Lauer to plug her Garmin GPS and Katadyn water purifier.

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