It's been a good year for sea turtles along the South Carolina coast with record numbers of nests found along the shore midway through the nesting season.

Preliminary figures from the Department of Natural Resources show about 4,900 nests have been reported. Local media outlets report it's now a crucial time for the turtles.

As the hatchlings emerge from eggs, they make their way down the beach to the ocean. People who live along the beach or are vacationing there are being asked to turn off lights that may shine toward the beach at night.

The lights confuse the young hatchlings and they crawl toward land instead of toward the ocean.

The nesting season in some places along the coast extends into early fall.