Grounded humpback whale remains stuck in Moriches Bay off Long Island

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
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Kristin Thorne has the story of an ailing whale stranded in the waters off Long Island.

MORICHES BAY, Long Island (WABC) -- A young humpback whale has been in the Moriches Bay area off Long Island for about a week, despite experts' efforts to move it to deeper waters.

The 25-foot-long whale was stuck on a sandbar Tuesday, according to Jennifer Goebel, spokeswoman for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office of NOAA.

"A lot of the people that live here on the bay have been able to hear it from their windows at night crying," said Vincent Conwell, a Patchogue resident.

Local and federal agencies tried Monday to create waves with boats in the hopes that it would give the whale enough water and momentum to move.

It didn't work.

The scene has drawn hundreds of onlookers. It was first spotted on Sunday.

Everyone is desperate to help.

"We've been here for several hours hoping that something was going to happen," said Gail Quigg, a Shirley resident.

Frustrated by the response, some people have taken to their boats to try free the whale themselves.

Someone even brought in a dredge Tuesday to dig a canal in the sand near the whale.

The Coast Guard and police kept them away.

"There are local people who want to help and use their equipment and services and they should work together and get the job done," said Dave Newins, a Manorville resident.

Those with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they can't physically move the whale because it would cause internal injuries.

Those with NOAA say they're gathering whale experts from North Carolina and Cape Cod who should be on scene in the next few days.

They'll determine if it's best to euthanize the animal.