"If she weren't such a sturdy vessel, you wouldn't be talking to either of us right now," he said.
Once you're in the water in such conditions, Schoenberger said, "you immediately realize how infinitesimal you are."
"They were eventually just overwhelmed with the waves and the wind," said Fields.
In another rescue, a Coast Guard Medevac took a 47-year-old man from a 780-foot cargo ship 200 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia after crew on the ship reported he'd sustained serious chest injuries during a fall.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived at the Horizon Trader ship about 4:30 p.m., hoisted the man into the helicopter and took him to the hospital, the Coast Guard said. It was not clear whether the man's injuries were caused by rough weather conditions.
Sun reporters Candy Thomson, Kevin Rector and Carrie Wells contributed to this article.