The Coast Guard said watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia Command Center received notification around 3 p.m. that a vessel on fire and was spotted around 3 p.m., 36 miles east of Fisherman Island.
The watchstanders released an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, and the good Samaritan vessel responded to help the men.
When the good Samaritan crew pulled the two men from the water because they had abandoned ship due to the fire.
Ana Carolina Parrott says her husband Shawn Shapiro was on the good Samaritan boat with his father and another man.
Shapiro detailed the encounter in a Facebook post Tuesday, saying the man had been in the water for about 40 minutes before help arrived.
“The older man, the captain barely able to hang on to the transom he made a last ditch effort and put an arm the life ring and my dad and I barley got him aboard. The man was burned from his forehead down with skin hanging off both his hands with nothing but red skin and wrist bleeding. Eyes were burned blood red and shaking very badly from hypothermia,” Shapiro said.
The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable arrived and the crew safely took the two men aboard the cutter before a MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City medevaced the mariners to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
“The coordination between Coast Guard assets and the good Samaritan who retrieved the two individuals from the water was critical in the life saving aspect of this case,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erica Elfguinn, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for this case. “The active participation of others on the water is essential to keeping our waterways safe.”