Published Thursday, 30 August 2012
The X Factor judge was on his yacht off France's south coast when he heard a May Day distress call and sprang into action.
Cowell instructed his captain to head towards the struggling vessel, and he and his crew sent out a smaller boat to retrieve those onboard and bring them to safety.
Cowell's heroics were revealed by his longtime pal and ex-girlfriend, singer Sinitta, who took to Twitter.com to give followers live updates as their vacation drama unfolded.
She tweeted, "OMG (oh my God)!! Just had a May Day message, 35ft boat sinking... (Cowell) has sent us to help and rescue 9 people on board!"
Minutes later, Sinitta added, "Everyone ok, no one hurt. Captain won't let boat sink, petrol in sea etc would cause major problems and fines. No tide, so hole plugged."