North Carolina

‘Friendly’ creatures pay surprise visit to Coast Guard in Outer Banks, picture shows

A Coast Guard crew on North Carolina’s Outer Banks got a surprise visit from a couple of “friendly” sea creatures.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet posted a picture on Facebook of two manatees that swam up to its basin in Nags Head on Saturday.

“Throughout the course of our duties we see plenty of marine life,” the Coast Guard said on Facebook. “However, it’s not every day that we get to see manatees enter our basin!”

A couple of manatees came into the Coast Guard basin in Nags Head. U.S. Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet

Several people commented on the Facebook post concerned about the manatees being in North Carolina.

“They need to come home to Florida,” one person commented. “They are going to freeze!”

“I hope they can find their way back home before the cold sets in,” another said. “We love our sea cows here in FL.”

Manatees need water that is at least 68 degrees to survive, Myrtle Beach Online reported in May, but can live as far north as Virginia.

They can usually be spotted in North Carolina starting in the summer months and through late fall, according to the news outlet.

Others commenting on the post were excited to see the manatees.

“Ahhh! Love them so much! Such gentle and curious creatures,” one person said.

“Wow I wish I could be so lucky,” another said.

One person commented suggesting the Coast Guard give them water from a hose.

Although it can be tempting to feed manatees or give them water, they are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, meaning it’s illegal to get within 50 yards of them in a watercraft, Myrtle Beach Online reported.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.