(NBC News) Two American sailors who say they survived a five-month ordeal on the open water shot down skeptics Wednesday, reiterating that they had survived squalls, sharks — and more.

“If you were there, you would say the same thing I did,” Jennifer Appel told NBC’s Matt Lauer in a TODAY exclusive.

Appel, 48, and Tasha Fuiava, 26, set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti on May 3, when they say a three-day-long storm overpowered their engine and damaged the boat’s mast.

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