ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Terrifying moments turned into terrifying hours for two boaters. The couple is lucky to be alive after they clung to the top of their capsized boat off the coast of Atlantic City.

The couple talked about their ordeal and how they U.S. Coast Guard saved their lives.

(credit: Coast Guard)

Sixty-five miles off the coast of New Jersey, what’s called a white squall caused the 55-foot wooden sailboat, Bertie, to capsize.

Peter Bailey and Heidi Snyder were heading from South Carolina to New York when a powerful microburst flipped the boat and tossed them into 60-degree ocean water.

“I was pretty confident we would survive, but I was fearing that I would have a cardiac arrest from hypothermia,” Bailey said. “I was shivering and I was glad it wasn’t any colder. I was hoping they would get here before it gets too late.”

Coast guard crews quickly responded but stormy weather made the rescue extremely difficult.

(credit: CBS3)

“I literally had him inside my body, like in my jacket and giving me body heat. It helped,” Snyder said.

The coast guard helicopter was able to hoist the couple to safety. They were rushed to the hospital to be treated.

Unfortunately, everything on their houseboat is lost. The couple had been traveling for two years. They were on their way to New York City.

CBS3 anchor Jessica Kartalija reports.