NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – It was a sad morning in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaias on the beach for these sea turtle patrol volunteers.
The North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol found 109 dead hatchlings after the storm. “Mother Nature can be unpredictable and cruel at times,” said one volunteer.
One of the nests in Cherry Grove was on day 58 of incubation, the patrol reported. Volunteers had been keeping a close eye on the nest and believed the hatchlings were just waiting to emerge.
But on Tuesday morning they found the poles were down and the cage was under more than a foot of sand.
After carefully digging about 29 inches down into the sand, they found egg shells, both hatched and unhatched at the bottom of the egg chamber.
Volunteers did find three live hatchlings nearby, close to the water.
They also uncovered another nest just a bit north that was buried in the deep sand. Volunteers did not open the chamber for that nest but put up a new cage and poles for protection. They said they will watch the nest closely.
Five remaining nests are missing, the volunteers said. Another had emerged and was scheduled to be inventoried today.