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Aug 11, 2012 6:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Crew Buries Whale On Beach In Hampton Bays

Aug 13, 2012 7:07 AM

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

According to Mr. DiGiovanni, the approximately 60-foot-long female fin whale was buried on Saturday evening, with crews leaving the beach at just after 8 p.m. The whale was successfully examined on the beach prior to being buried, but the cause of its death could not be determined.


An approximately 50-foot-long, 30- to 40-ton fin whale, dead and decomposing, washed up just east of Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays.

According to Alex Gregor, Southampton Town highway superintendent, the carcass was spotted early in the afternoon Friday floating three miles south of the Shinnecock Inlet. At approximately 8 p.m. that night, Mr. Gregor received a call that the whale had washed up 200 yards east of Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays on Suffolk County property.

Robert DiGionvanni, a senior biologist at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, said the foundation was at the scene and in the process of securing the animal and expect to bring it farther up onto the beach for closer examination, though the degree of decomposition made it unlikely that scientists would be able to determine an exact cause of death.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Gregor said the Suffolk County Department of Public Works planned to use county equipment to bury it farther back on the beach deep enough where it could not be uncovered by people digging in the sand. But by midday, the incoming tide had washed the whale back out to sea, at least for the time being.

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great shark bait !!
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Aug 11, 12 6:34 PM
Poor Cetacean. R.I.P. with King Neptune.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Aug 11, 12 8:34 PM
Securing the carcass and keeping it out at sea, using State and/or Federal dollars, would be the most efficient course of action ... I hope some one is thinking and acting intelligently right now ... dragging IN / and/or "securing" a decomposed whale seems like an enormous (pun intended) waste of time and money.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Aug 11, 12 8:46 PM
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By johnnyhampton (82), Southampton on Aug 11, 12 9:11 PM
On a semi-related note (burying things at the beach), a week or two ago my buddy was body surfing in sagaponack and came down on a giant rusted deer-fencing stake. Luckily he only scraped his leg on it and it wasn't serious. He pulled the stake out of the sand and brought it to a trash can. How on earth do you think that got in the ocean?
By Brian Bailey (36), Southampton on Aug 12, 12 11:18 AM
probably at one time that fence was put there to prevent erosion.. got buried over the years..
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Aug 13, 12 12:41 PM
The whale must have ate it !!!!!
By TO BAD (24), hampton bay on Aug 12, 12 11:53 AM
how did the whale get into the Peconic Bay?
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 13, 12 2:23 PM
Who would call the Town Highway Superintendent regarding a beached whale?
By Wagoneer (28), Southampton on Aug 13, 12 2:51 PM
I don't think the whale washed up in Peconic Bay, it was on the Ocean beach. If it was in the Bay it most likely ate at Dockers & died on the way home.
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 14, 12 9:36 AM
No-the map shows Peconic Bay-it must have swim thru the canal and the locks when they were open-Amazing
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 14, 12 4:51 PM
Hey, if I was a whale I would swim thru the locks to eat at Dockers. Place is great!
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 14, 12 7:05 PM