Two crew members of the tanker Chemtrans Nova, 73,870dwt, had to be flown ashore for treatment after the lifeboat they were working on fell overboard and crashed into the sea.
The 228m long Panama crude oil tanker was some 60 miles east of Chincoteague, Virginia, when the accident happened on Feb 6.
The US Coast Guard said two engineers were working on an enclosed lifeboat when it released and went overboard, taking the men with it. The ship immediately called the USCG requesting assistance.
The USCG cutter Reliance was on patrol about 20 miles away and diverted to the scene. Their small boat was launched and rescued one man from the lifeboat and the other man from the water.