The U.S. Coast Guard says the two Hawaii women who were lost at sea for five months had an emergency beacon known as an EPIRB aboard their sailboat that was never activated.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr told The Associated Press on Monday that their review of the incident and subsequent interviews with the survivors revealed that they had the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) aboard but never turned it on.
When asked if the two had the radio beacon aboard, the women told the AP on Friday they had a number of other communications devices, but they didn't mention the beacon.
The device communicates with satellites and sends locations to authorities. It's activated when it's submerged in water or turned on manually.
Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba had set off on their boat from Hawaii to Taihiti earlier this year, only to have their engine and then mast broke during the trip.
The women and their dogs survived shark attacks and spent five terrifying months lost at sea before being rescued by the US Navy on Wednesday.
The women luckily survived on a water purifier and a year's supply of food they had onboard.