Deceased Humpback Whale Washes Ashore in Napeague

A dead humpback whale that washed up on the beach at Napeague on Thursday. Photo courtesy of East Hampton Town Natural Resources Department.

UPDATE, July 27, 6:20 p.m.: The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said Friday the deceased humpback whale, a female, was “severely decomposed” by the time a necropsy could be completed.

“Due to the advanced state of decomposition, a cause of death could not be determined at this time,” the AMCS said in a statement. “Samples will be sent to a pathologist and those results may take several months to come back.”

The whale was taken to the East Hampton Town Sanitation center with help from the East Hampton Town Highway Supervisor Steve Lynch, East Hampton Town Police Marine Patrol, East Hampton Town Department of Natural Resources, and Bistrian Materials and Excavation.

UPDATE, July 26, 6:30 p.m.: A dead humpback whale measuring 30 to 35 feet in length washed up on the shore in Napeague on Thursday morning, prompting an investigation by the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), the organization announced Thursday.

The whale remains in the surf, creating a hazard for the public, an AMCS spokesperson said Thursday afternoon. “Because the animal is in the surf, it is dangerous for the public to get closer. We strongly urge people to keep a minimum distance of the recommended 150 feet at all times,” the spokesperson said.

A necropsy has not yet been completed to determine the whale’s cause of death. This is the sixth such incident the organization has responded to this year. An ongoing “unusual mortality event” that has been in effect since 2016 on the Atlantic Coast has impacted at least 75 whales, the AMCS said.


A team of biologists and experts from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is on its way to investigate a report of a dead humpback whale that washed up on the beach at Napeague on Thursday.

According to a release from the AMCS, the U.S. Coast Guard Montauk Station initially reported the whale at 8:30 a.m. A “response plan” will be developed by the team once it arrives on scene, after which more information will become available.