The couple said there were waves the size of buildings, and winds so strong they couldn't stand.
The Irish long distance voyager and his round-the-world cruise companion Barbara Heftman were rescued unharmed off the coast of New South Wales after their ketch became disabled in heavy weather.
Former Royal St George Yacht Club sailor Nick Dwyer from Dún Laoghaire recalled his "moment of terror" during a capsize off Sydney, Australia on Wednesday.
A tale of exceptionally tall seas from a couple who had to abandon their yacht sailing from New Zealand to Australia.
Gale-force winds and sizeable waves forced Dwyer and his partner to activate an emergency radio beacon on Tuesday after they had been sailing without a beacon for three days.
Dwyer said he and Heftman had discussed the possibility that they would not survive.
The equipment was dropped successfully by Rescue 660 however the equipment was unable to be recovered by the yacht due to the treacherous conditions.
AMSA issued a broadcast to shipping in the area requesting assistance which was answered by the container ship ANL Elanora.
Mr Dwyer praised the rescuers, saying: "They put their own lives at risk and if it wasn't for them, we probably wouldn't be here and they are the heroes, you know".
The yacht has been their home for the past seven years as they sail around the world, and Dwyer said they did not yet know whether would attempt to retrieve and fix it.
Mr Dwyer added: 'To go out in those seas and experience that is truly humbling.
'And there's enormous gratitude felt and indebtedness, by Barbara and I for the courage that has been shown'.
Police said the vessel was expected to arrive in Sydney at 8:30pm.
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