Whale carcass washes ashore in Jamestown

A humpback whale carcass on the rocks of Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. Photo: Corey Welch/WPRI-TV

JAMESTOWN, R.I (WPRI) – A roughly 30-foot humpback whale has washed ashore at Jamestown’s Beavertail State Park.

Dozens of people gathered on the rocks Sunday to get a closer look and snap photographs.

“I caught a 15-pound striper yesterday, thought that was pretty big,” said Felix Porcaro. “This definitely blows it out of the water.”

“It’s huge,” said Marilyn Kiesel. “With the fog it’s hard to really realize the size, but it’s massive.”

Officials say the male humpback was spotted Friday and declared dead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Mystic Aquarium and Rhode Island officials will likely tow the whale carcass to a different beach on Monday, where they’ll conduct a necropsy and take samples to determine the whale’s life history and cause of death.

In January of 2016, NOAA declared an “unusual mortality event” in humpback whales along the Atlantic coast. Since then, 44 dead humpback whales have washed ashore in 10 different states, including two in Rhode Island last year.

NOAA said some of the whales showed signs of being struck by boats, but for the others, officials say more research is needed.