Chief John Bethune with the Lillington Fire Department said the two men called 911 just before 10:30 p.m. saying they were stranded on a small island on the Cape Fear River when their boat hit some rocks.
Officials set up a command post north of Lillington, as 40 Harnett County water rescuers, in and out of the water, looked for the boaters.
Authorities said since they did not know exactly where the unidentified men were, crews used triangulation from the cellphone signal to pinpoint their location.
They were rescued just before midnight near the NC-217 bridge, outside of Erwin. Neither of them needed medical attention.