FOLLY BEACH — Rescue crews had to wait hours for higher tides to bring a stranded couple to shore Wednesday after their boat ran out of gas near Folly Beach, authorities said.

"Apparently, they were out riding because there wasn't any fishing gear or anything on board," said Sgt. Pedro McTeer of the Folly Beach Public Safety Department. "They ran out of gas. ... When the tide came in, they were stuck and they couldn't move because they were out of gas anyway."

The 21-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were out in a johnboat when they got stuck in Rat Island Creek on Tuesday night, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jeffery Price said. The Coast Guard received its first call for help about 10 p.m.

A Charleston County Sheriff's Office helicopter spotted the boat and a Sheriff's Office boat tried to reach them in the morning, but got stuck, authorities said.

McTeer said dispatchers received a new call around 9:30 a.m. from a resident who was at home and noticed a woman in a nearby marsh waving a red handkerchief. With the tide rising, a Folly Beach officer on a personal watercraft was able to reach the couple and take the woman to a Charleston County Volunteer Rescue Squad boat.

The woman, a Hanahan resident, arrived at the Folly Beach boat landing around noon; and the man, a James Island resident, about an hour later, McTeer said. Deputies helped tow the man, his dog and his boat back to shore.

Reach Noah Haglund at 937-5550 or nhaglund@postandcourier.com.