The Hollywood actor got lost during an outing with a friend off the coast of New York's Long Island and was forced to yell for help after coming ashore nearly 10 miles (16 kilometres) away from their launch point.
Crowe and his companion were picked up by a Coast Guard boat and transported back to safety.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki, who was among the rescue team, has now revealed he had no idea who the stranded day-tripper was, as Crowe is currently sporting short hair and a bushy beard for his role in new biblical epic Noah.
Swieciki tells the New York Post, "When we tied up in Huntington, one of the guys that was on the back of the boat told me it was Russell Crowe - I didn't believe him... I love the movie Gladiator. He (Crowe) probably isn't happy that everyone knows he got stranded, especially since he was in (seafaring movie) Master And Commander."