BEAUFORT — Eight people are safe after being rescued on St. Helena Sound after strong winds and tides pushed their inflatable rafts toward the sea.

The Beaufort Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/MfvChk ) the five children and three adults were rescued by emergency workers late Monday. The group had piled onto four inflatable rafts at Harbor island but underestimated the strength of the wind and tides.

One of the adults swam back to the island and alerted authorities. The group only had two oars among the four rafts. The seas were 3 to 5 feet and winds were as high as 23 mph.

The group was rescued by firefighters on personal watercraft and members of Fripp Island Sea Rescue. A Coast Guard helicopter hovered overhead as the group was pulled to safety.