The Australian actor hit the water with a pal, launching from Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday afternoon on the Long Island Sound.
As night fell, the pair’s sense of direction failed them and they eventually headed for shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay, nearly 17km east from where they had began.
The US Coast Guard was patrolling the area, and heard Crowe call out to them from the shore at about 10pm.
Crowe and his friend paddled out to the boat and officers pulled them up. They were given a ride to Huntington Harbour with their kayaks.
“He just needed a little bit of help, he just got a little lost,” US Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki said.
“It wasn’t really a rescue, really, more of just giving someone a lift.”
Crowe hit Twitter to tell his followers of his ordeal.
“Thanks to Seth and the boys from the US Coast Guard for guiding the way … 4 hrs 30 mins, 7m,” he wrote.
He later posted: “not lodt, we knew exactly where we were, paddling around from csh into wind, we ran out of day. Grand adventure eh?”