SEA ISLE CITY — A dead humpback whale that washed up onto a South Jersey beach may have died after being caught up in a line.

Bob Schoelkopf, founder of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Briganine, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the 33-foot, 20 foot juvenile whale, first seen floating off Ocean City around noon on Friday, had been dead for about two weeks after getting tangled in a line. It also had been hit by a vessel after it died, according to Schoelkopf.

It washed on the beach near 20th Street in Sea Isle City.

Susan Stiner, a Pennsylvania resident visiting Sea Isle City on Friday, said seeing the whale was "awesome." She said the whale "was really starting to smell, though."

Schoelkopf told the newspaper it was the second whale of the year to wash up on a New Jersey beach.

An earthmover was brought in to move the whale away from the water, but a chain snapped during the first attempt, according to the newspaper.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at