Houston woman speaks out after daughter rescued at sea

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- You could see the jubilation on board this sailboat when located by the U.S. Navy after more than five months adrift at sea.

"I just had no idea it would be more than five months before she would reach shore so I was worried," Joyce Appel said.

Appel's daughter Jennifer was there, waiving in the rescuers.

She said she was relieved to finally talk to her daughter briefly after they were safe.

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Houston woman speaks out after daughter rescued at sea.

"When she got on the telephone, she was very enthusiastic and she just sounded great," Appel said. "She sounded wonderful, so I was happy."

Jennifer, a friend and their two dogs set sail from Honolulu for Tahiti in May. They were found thousands of miles off course after a series of troubles.

Jennifer dropped her sat phone in the ocean. The engine died. The mast was damaged. They were hit by three massive storms and even endured two shark attacks.

"It sounds like everything that could have gone wrong, did," reporter Kevin Quinn said.

"I think so," Joyce Appel said, with a laugh.

Thankfully they'd brought a water purifier and enough food for a year. Appel said after their rescue that she'd sent out a distress call daily for 98 days without response.

Then, a Tiawaneese fishing vessel spotted them and called the Coast Guard.

"I thank God that he was watching over her and taking care of her," Joyce Appel said.

They were all smiles as they climbed aboard the U.S.S. Asland, even the dogs.

Jennifer Appel was photographed thanking officers.

"It was actually quite mind-blowing and incredibly humbling," Joyce Appel said.

Joyce hopes her daughter won't be setting sail again anytime soon.

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