The 48-year-old Gladiator star and a friend had launched their kayaks from Cold Spring Harbour on the Long Island Sound, but lost their way as the sun went down.
The US coastguard said Crowe and his friend apparently made their way to Huntington Bay beach and called out to a boat on patrol.
Petty Officer Robert Swieciki said the two paddled over to the boat, got on board, and rode back to Huntington Harbour.
Crowe, who is on Long Island making a new film, Noah, in Oyster Bay, sent a Twitter message thanking the officers.
“He just needed a little bit of help, he just got a little lost,” said Mr Swieciki.
“It wasn’t really a rescue, really, more of just giving someone a lift.”
Mr Swieicki said nobody was injured and the two men were wearing lifevests. He said the actor, who was grateful and friendly, seemed like a fairly experienced kayaker.
Crowe’s Twitter message, sent at about 1.30am yesterday, thanked the officers, and said he was out on the water for four-and-a-half hours.
“Thanks to Seth and the boys from the US Coast Guard for guiding the way... 4 hrs 30 mins,” he wrote.