They sent out a distress signal at 12:40 p.m., prompting the Coast Guard to dispatch a rescue helicopter and boat to the stranded seafarers, Kendrick said.
But someone else had caught wind of the blazing vessel — and they were on a boat nearby, Kendrick said.
Within 10 minutes, the good Samaritan had recovered the four people and were en route to meet emergency personnel at Sunset Marina in Ocean City. Two of them reportedly had some type of burn, Kendrick said.
Without the emergency stress device and the chance encounter of a boat-clad bystander, the story may have ended differently, he added.
"Out at sea, it can be dangerous," Kendrick said. "We just want to praise the good Samaritan for helping save some people's lives."
As of 2:45 p.m., it was not confirmed whether the boat with the bystander and four people made it to Sunset Marina, or what the cause and current conditions are of the boat that caught fire, Kendrick said.