A wayward loggerhead sea turtle was rescued after falling into an in-ground swimming pool in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in early June. The 250-pound turtle nested after coming ashore and then became disoriented, apparently confused by artificial lights. A nearby resident in the Port Royal Plantation called officials after spotting the turtle in the pool. The Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division joined with the Coastal Discovery Museum staff in carefully pulling the turtle out of the pool, securing it on a body board and returning it to sea. Officials said the turtle appeared healthy as it swam off into the Atlantic Ocean.
As do many seaside communities, the area has a “lights out” ordinance in effect during turtle nesting season – May 1 through Ocober 31 – that requires residents to in beachside homes to keep their lights off after 10:00 p.m. because lights can confuse nesting turtles, which rely on natural light over the ocean to guide them back to sea.