"They launched a flare but unfortunately, the Diamante did not see or hear anything, and that was there only way to reach out," said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Jackson.
Jackson believes the crew's emergency beacon was garbled because it was accidentally set on test mode, but it at least alerted the Coast Guard to their general area.
Once it was reset in the morning, it gave the rescuers their exact position.
Jackson also credits the ingenuity of the men to devise a sail out of a metal reflective blanket.
"It was kind of like a mirror flashing out there on the water, and it caught the eye of the C-130 aircraft crew which was able to identify where the vessel was and bring the Diamonte right to them," said Jackson.