The Coast Guard says they were not wearing life jackets.
Two of the men were rescued by an Army Corps of Engineers crew. A Good Samaritan from a recreational boat rescued the third man and transferred him to a New Jersey State Police vessel.
The Army engineers were on the scene able to resuce the men who were holding on to a cooler.
"It was intense because one of the guys was saying he didn't know how much longer he could hang on," survey technician Chris Kunkel said.
The men were said to only suffer scrapes and bruises.