Essex County

Dead humpback whale washes ashore again, this time in Swampscott

SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. — A dead whale washed up on a North Shore beach Tuesday afternoon.

NOAA officials confirm it’s the same whale that washed ashore in Marblehead on May 2.

The tide carried the carcass down to Preston Beach in Swampscott where it sits in front of several private properties.

Nicole Puzzo was brushing her teeth when she looked out and saw the dead whale stuck on the beach.

“It was just beached and I kind of freaked out, called my husband, didn’t know what to do, so we started calling the police department just to see next steps,” said Puzzo.

It’s been the talk of the town.

“This is the craziest thing we’ve seen – you know a couple seals will come by – we did have a dead seal right where the whale is now, but relative size, this is about as big as it gets,” said Stephen Puzzo.

NOAA Fisheries says they had a satellite tag attached to the deceased whale after it was released from Marblehead a few weeks ago and the carcass didn’t decompose as quickly as expected.

“It’s a little bit of a spectator sport, we’ve had to tell some people to get off the beach wall earlier you know, when it was low tide everybody was scurrying around on the beach because this is a big event in Swampscott,” said Puzzo.

Swampscott officials, along with NOAA and Massachusetts Environmental Police are working on a plan to safely dispose of the whale.

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