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Minke whale removed from Goose Creek after it dies overnight

The minke whale that became stranded in Southold’s Goose Creek Thursday died overnight, officials said.

The 20-foot marine mammal, at 4,360 pounds, became stranded as the tide went out and officials were unable to free it before nightfall. Crews used rope to tie to the whale’s tail and drag it out of the creek. Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the whale was removed.

“We brainstormed how to get it out,” said Southold Highway Department Superintendent Dan Goodwin. “And it went smoothly.”

Kim Durham of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said Thursday that this type of whale has been stranded in East Hampton before, but never in the bay. The marine crews will perform a necropsy to examine the whale at the town landfill.

Southold Town police said a paddleboarder in the creek spotted the whale Thursday. Police said Friday morning the conservation society believes the whale was under-nutritioned and may have had a neurological condition.

Southold police Chief Martin Flatley was at the scene Friday and said he recalled a pilot whale that was stranded by the Goose Creek bridge years ago.

See more photos from Friday morning:

A view Friday morning from above Goose Creek where the minke whale became stranded. (Credit: Jeremy Garretson)
The whale died overnight as officials were unable to free it late Thursday. (Credit: Jeremy Garretson)
Crews are expected to spend Friday removing the whale and it will be examined to determine a cause of death. (Credit: Jeremy Garretson)
The whale was covered with a tarp after it as removed from the creek Friday morning. (Credit: Steve Wick)