Sea turtles make daytime appearances on NC beach. Please don’t touch them, town says

A North Carolina beach is having a record-breaking and unique sea turtle season, and it’s asking the public to help keep them safe.

So far, 68 turtles have dug nests and laid eggs on Holden Beach, according to the town. With about six weeks left in nesting season, that number is set to pass the all-time record of 73 nests set in 2013, the town said.

But there’s something else special about this nesting season.

Mother turtles keep coming up the beach during daylight to lay their eggs, the town said. Just this week a tourist saw a turtle on the beach at 6 p.m., the town said.

This is rare, as sea turtles normally come out of the ocean to nest during the night, according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

With the turtles doing this, the town is asking for the public to help keep the them safe and to prevent false crawls.

False crawls happen when a turtle comes ashore to lay her eggs but gets spooked by something and goes back into the ocean, according to the town.

The town asks that people who see a turtle call the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol’s emergency phone number at 910-754-0766.

People who spot a turtle should remain quiet, keep their distance and not use flash photography or a flashlight so as not to disturb her, the town said. If someone is harassing a turtle, call 911.

The town also asks that people don’t disturb turtle tracks because Turtle Patrol uses them to find and mark nests.

“It’s amazing to watch a sea turtle dig and lay a nest. Enjoy the special memory,” the town said.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.