A wedding proposal on Hilton Head Island beach led to the deaths of about 60 sea turtles on the shore. A man who proposed on the beach of Hilton Head Island placed about 150 luminarias, bags with a lit candle inside, in a heart-shaped pattern. After the proposal, the couple both left the candles lit on the beach, and returned to their rental home.
About 60 protected loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings, baby turtles, came from a nearby nest, and became disoriented by the light, according to the Island Packet of Hilton Head. After becoming disoriented, they went in different directions, causing them to die to due weakness and crabs.
The couple did receive a letter with a warning from the town, and a lecture from sea turtle volunteers. These volunteers say most of the eggs from the nest near Palmetto Dunes hatched late Tuesday, and there’s hope they will survive.
Now, a local ordinance is in effect that calls for beachfront homes, villas and hotel occupants on Hilton Head Island to turn off their lights by 10 p.m. from May through October.