The men, who had been on a fishing trip Friday, were travelingthrough the inlet at 6:15 p.m. when the engine on their 21-footvessel stalled, the Coast Guard said in a news release. A wave cameover the vessel and began to sink it.
The men identified as Israel Malpass of Carolina Beach, hiscousin, Brian Malpass, and Ben Daniels called New Hanover Countyemergency dispatchers before the boat capsized, according to theCoast Guard.
Wearing lifejackets, the men remained in the water for threehours a thunderstorm came through the area during that time _before reaching land on Masonboro Island, the guard said. Localresidents then spotted them, picked them up in a boat and helpedthem to safety.
Coast Guard officials from Atlantic Beach and Wrightsville Beachsearched unsuccessfully for the men.