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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) – The unsettled weather along the South Carolina coast has caused thousands of starfish to wash on shore at Myrtle Beach.

State Department of Natural Resources Marine Division spokesman Phil Maier told The Sun News of Myrtle Beach that the starfish were likely dislodged from the rocks they usually stick to by rough seas Monday night.

Beachgoers reported starfish littering sections of the beach Tuesday, some piled on top of each other.

Maier says most of the starfish are still alive and there is no need to throw them back in the ocean because Mother Nature will take care of them.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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