Dinwiddie teacher hailed as a hero for saving hundreds of turtle eggs while on vacation

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DINWIDDIE, Va. (WRIC) — A local science teacher left her classroom to go on vacation, not realizing she would be hailed as a hero when she returned.

“I’m going to get emotional,” Shannon Marston, a 7th-grade science teacher at Dinwiddie Middle School, said. “It was the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen besides my own child’s birth.”

While on her vacation at Myrtle Beach, Marston helped save more than 110 turtle eggs.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time I guess,” she said.

Marston saw bright lights and dozens of people gathering around a mama sea turtle laying her eggs.

“I’m like ‘oh no, this is not gonna be good,'” Marston told 8News.

The turtle got stressed out and began walking back to the ocean before digging her nest deep enough.

“She’ll end up laying her eggs in the ocean,” Marston explained, “which is not gonna be good cause they won’t survive.”

Marston’s teacher instincts kicked in. She told people to be super quiet and to turn off their lights. Marston then stayed to protect the mama sea turtle for three hours.

“They’re all endangered so we have to do what we can to protect them,” she told 8News.

Marston and other local volunteers worked together to move the turtle eggs to a safer and quieter place. Many in South Carolina are calling Marston a hero.

“I’m an advocate for anything that can’t speak for themselves like all of us should be,” Marston said.

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