Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son, Morgan, saw the pair near one of the Aran Islands, about 20 miles from where they were last seen.
Cousin Ellen Glynn, 17 and Sara Feeney, 23, paddled off the beach of Furbo, near the city of Galway, at around 9pm on Wednesday,
According to Mike Swan, Executive Director of the Galway Lifeboat RNLI, after a strong northeast wind blew them into the ocean and a family member watching had lost them, the lifeboat services has been called, according to Mike Swan, Executive Director of the Galway RNLI Lifeboat.
Swan told CNN that the crew on his lifeboat had to change three times throughout the night as they continued to search.
They were assisted in the search and rescue operation by other lifeboats from the surrounding area and three Coast Guard rescue helicopters, the lifeboat service said in a statement.
The Olivers joined the quest on Thursday morning, eventually finding paddleboarders about two miles southwest of Inis Oírr, the statement added.
The women held lobster pots for four or five hours, Swan said.
Speaking after she was rescued, Glynn told national broadcaster RTÉ: “We’re pretty sure we’ll be found. The only thing I’m worried about is how cold we are – we shiver like. civet “.
The cousins were taken to hospital after their ordeal. Feeney was discharged on Thursday night and Glynn is likely to go home on Saturday morning, RTÉ reported.
Describing the moment his team heard the couple had been rescued, Swan told CNN: “We are in the clouds. It was the best feeling ever for the whole family. ga are participating. “
He added that Patrick Oliver, who found the rowing athletes, and his three brothers were all volunteers for RNLI.
“It’s in their blood.” he say.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin was one of those who praised the work of the rescue services.
“The great news in Galway today highlights the outstanding work of our rescue and volunteer services. Great community spirit is embodied by all,” he tweeted.