I'm baffled by the 'just give up' attitude they displayed.
They're on a functional sail boat. Bobbing around for 5 weeks because a spreader got damaged makes no sense to me. I can think of half a dozen ways to get under SOME sail without even trying.
Open ocean sailing needs skill, preparation and determination. These girls were way out of their league.
And I disagree with you about the EPIRB. Total loss of steerage and power is a no shit emergency. I'd trigger it. Drift into a big storm or a shipping lane and it's game over...
Agree that they were in over their head.
Agreed that open ocean sailing requires honed skill and a mental steadiness that they did not appear to have.
Also agreed that the 'give up' attitude that they conveyed after 'rescue' was concerning.
I did not look too far into what 'stranded' their boat, but I'll revisit the statement that they were in over their head.
Sailing is not rocket science. Assuming your sailboat can maintain buoyancy without constant manual bailing any reasonable sailor should be able to make their boat move in the general direction they want it to go.
Even with a mast broken in half I am confident I or any skilled operator could make 1/2 VMG to anywhere in the Pacific given FIVE MONTHS.
I'm not defending the women in the sense that I would EVER want either of them on a boat with me, I'm defending their reasoning in not pushing the EPIRB. All i'm saying is that they are really, really, REALLY bad at sailing or figuring shit out.
Granted, none of us were there. The only relay of the damage to their boat and their experience must me seen through the filter of emotional 'victims' in shock from their failed voyage. If you look at what vessels have been able to navigate across open oceans safely, I cannot see any reason why their sailboat drifted for months in ambiguous directions. Hell, I can sail a canoe upwind with a space blanket and some properly placed paddles as keel and rudder. Give me or any competent sail driver a keeled hull, functioning tiller and only minimal rigging and you will have a steerable, sailable vessel in less than a days work. Granted without a full sail you will be slow and inefficient, but thats the nature of sailing. Also keep in mind that being in the open ocean like that you have literally NOTHING to do but keep food and water stores available and ALL DAY AND NIGHT LONG TO RIG THE BOAT TO SAIL WHERE YOU WANT IT TO GO. I've done 300 mile open ocean sailing legs with a known inoperable engine and a destroyed main sail. You just figure it out and go.
Had the boaters pushed their button, I doubt any news would come from it. they would have been rescued and maybe towed. End of story. But I do respect their resilience by NOT pressing it for the reasons they gave.