Another day has passed and the fate of the stranded Humpback Whale has yet to be determined.

Despite the best intentions of a dedicated group of volunteers,  local politicians and enthusiastic onlookers, rescue attempts were not allowed as of sundown.

Hopes were raised mid afternoon when the Facebook group Locals Only Save our Whale received approval via NY State Senator Ken Lavalle to stage near the Whale and prepare a rescue attempt.

Soon the group was live streaming directly from a barge loaded with equipment and anxious onlookers and news crews started lining the beach hoping for the best.

When I arrived the situation looked promising with the high tide almost covering the Whale that was still obviously trying to float itself free.

Just to the south of the Whale were the barge and boats from the Coast Guard, New York State DEC Police, Suffolk County Police, Sea Tow and smaller craft.

Soon it became clear that the rescue operation was told to stand down and defer to NOAA, who are waiting for a Whale veterinarian specialist to arrive to examine the Whale and make a decision which would include euthanasia.

One of the concerns about rescue would be another stranding as the way back to the Ocean through Moriches bay would still risk further groundings.

This did not go over well with the crowd that felt that an attempt should at least be made.  Seeing the Whale obviously struggling to free itself only added to the frustration.

Some further explanation by NOAA and crowd reaction are available in an evening update by Newsday that can be seen here.

The following photos of the Whale and aborted rescue mission were all taken this afternoon.


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