IOP beachgoers watch turtle hatchlings emerge from nests

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) -- It starts with a little head, followed by a fin, and then there are a dozen little turtles making their way to the sea.

Over the weekend, several people on the Isle of Palms got to see the hatching of a sea turtle nest and a few had the presence of mind to catch it on camera.

Turtle experts say it's pretty rare to see a nest hatch in the daylight.

Barbara Bergwerf, the woman who shot video, is a member of the Isle of Palms Turtle Team. {}It's a group permitted by the Department of Natural Resources to protect sea turtles.

She says turtles born in daylight have a much harder task at hand.

"(There are) more predators out; all the birds are out. That's probably the biggest predator," she said. "There are always predators. These little guys are so small that they can be eaten by about anybody."

But the turtles that hatched Sunday on the Isle of Palms did not have to worry about predators as they made their way into the ocean because the turtle team and area life guards made sure they all successfully completed their journey.

Three days after the hatching, the team will go back to the nest location and examine it for unhatched eggs and turtles that were left behind.{}

Bergwerf says this year some 5,000 turtle nests have been found on the South Carolina coast.{}