Dodgy and getting dodgier

I read that story about two women being rescued after 5 months at sea, and it bugged me. Wasn’t it awfully convenient that they’d packed a year’s worth of supplies before taking off on a short trip? And gosh, but they looked in good shape for people stranded at sea for so long. Even the dog! Wouldn’t they have eaten the dog after the first month of living on ramen?

Anyway, now there’s a detailed breakdown of all the fishy stuff in their story. They had an emergency beacon that they didn’t even bother to turn on!

I’m looking forward to learning the true story behind this phony tale of survival at sea.


  1. rjw1 says

    “I’m looking forward to learning the true story….”

    Yes, so am I. How did they survive?

  2. Nemo says

    I guess I’m not cynical enough, because it never occurred to me that they were faking. I don’t even know what the motive would be. (15 minutes of fame?)

  3. microraptor says

    Book and/or movie deals, the interview circuit, free publicity for something they want to promote (one of the women was apparently an aspiring actress?).

  4. methuseus says

    They’re a shoe-in for a survivor revival. Or just regular season. I don’t even know if Survivor is still a thing, to be honest. And yes, book deals and the like, enough to get them living fairly comfortably without having to actually work. Celebrity like this can pay well, even with lies being exposed. They just have to spin a story about how they know the real truth, etc.

  5. konservenknilch says

    Seems about right. It seemed odd to me that they looked quite OK after 5 months (and their dogs!). Easy for me to say though since I know less than nothing about sailing, so it’s good to have a detailed article like this from someone who does know. Also learned quite a bit from it.

  6. dobby says

    So where were they for 5 months? And where was their boat? Someone must have seen them. And they would have left a paper trail:credit cards, ATM, phone calls etc.

  7. says

    Call me a cynic . . . because I’m a cynic . . . but I thought it was all a bit odd from the get go, the fat one (are we still allowed to call fat people fat?) looked mightily well-fed for someone stranded at sea for months, even with food stocks, the worry, the sun and washing in salt water daily would all leave you pretty ragged?

    Also I immediately suspected these two might be, err . . . disciples of Sappho? Nothing wrong with that, but a planned ‘love-nest’ break (with two large dogs? very Parisian!) seems like a good way of lining up a book deal or movie-rights! We live in the age of Trumpton and the Kardashians after all!


  8. militantagnostic says


    Anyway, now there’s a detailed breakdown of all the fishy stuff in their story.

    The coordinated attack on the boat by giant tiger sharks was more than a little fishy.

    dobby @9
    A journalist cannot just ask a financial institution for a record of someone’s financial transactions. In that part of the world who would notice another sailboat.

  9. busterggi says

    Read the linked article – good thing they didn’t mention hitting an iceberg or encountering Cthulhu because then their story would be hard to believe.

  10. rwgate says

    I understand they had a years worth of food on board. I’m confused. Their sails appear to be perfectly alright. This IS a sailboat, so even if they had no fuel for the motor, there shouldn’t have been a problem. Any competent sailor would know how to ascertain lat and Lon even without electronic GPS. At the very least they should have a sextant as a backup.

    Sounds like someone looking for a movie contract.

  11. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Hugh Walter,
    I suspect any woman who meets a man like you will start thinking about batting for the other team.

  12. blf says

    Keep in mind things like having a year’s worth of food on board are all unverified claims. As far as I am aware, one of the few things which has been verified (publicly) — by the Coast Guard — is they did have an EPIRB (emergency beacon), which wasn’t turned on. As far as I am aware, even the claim of departing Hawaiʻi in early-May has not been verified.

    I myself do remember wondering, when reading the initial accounts, at least one thing: After the claimed first storm on the first-ish day, they must have still been well within motoring range of the departure point, so why not turn back for repairs? The motor was claimed to still be operating at that point. Also, at some point, supposedly, the antenna was damaged which is why, it is claimed, the communications gear all failed. (Nevermind that some of it, such as the Iridium satphone, would have had its own antenna.) At that point, surely the last-ditch unit, the EPIRB should have been activated.

    I’m not a sailor but even I know the “year’s supply of food” claim for a month-ish voyage was odd, nevermind how healthy the dogs and women seem to be, or the claim most of the food was gone after only the claimed five months. (Since the initial story, I understand the claim has changed / clarified to planning to sail around for a few months after reaching their destination, then returning to Hawaiʻi — which might make the year’s supply claim more plausible, but it still seems odd.)

  13. Wayne Smith says

    Blf said it right, unverified claims. This story is so fabricated and surprises me that even on the internet it makes it this far. You can check out more on this here.

  14. zetopan says

    “I don’t even know what the motive would be.”
    There are numerous possibilities, starting with the “captain” being a wanna-be actress and stunt woman.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    I reckon two adults could just about get by for a year with 200 kg of dried beans (navy, pinto, or such), if they had enough fresh water for rehydration and cooking.

  16. says

    Rob Grigjanis @ 20:

    Sure, and they’d show quite a weight loss, too. If you read the linked debunking, there’s a photo of a genuinely lost at sea couple, and while they managed by eating seabirds and fish, they were serious thin by the time they were found and rescued. They were lost for 117 days, and had lost 40 pounds each.

  17. says

    Rob, absolutely not.
    100g of dried beans have about 350 calories. 3500 in a kilo, which is about what two adults would need while still going hungry. And not getting any healthy nutrition. They’re still going through it in about 6 months.

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    Giliell @22 and Caine @21: I assumed that a person could survive a year, however feebly, on about 1000 calories a day, as long as they got all the essential amino acids (which the beans would give). On reflection, yeah, that assumption is horribly wrong, given that we burn about 1500 a day, on average, just sitting on a couch. I sit corrected!