Twelve Coast Guardsmen were inspecting an Ecuadorian vessel, the Marujita, on Aug. 7 when it began tilting on its side. The guardsmen and 25 other people were forced to abandon ship.
The Marujita was located over 330 miles southeast of Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean.
A Coast Guard boat on patrol in the region rescued 16 people and 20 others climbed on nets that hung from the vessel's side.
One man held onto the net until he was was rescued by a Coast Guard swimmer, as a photo showed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.