POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – There was an unusual visitor to the shores of Pompano Beach Sunday morning.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said Sunday morning beachgoers spotted what was believed to be a sperm whale about 40 feet from shore in the 600 block of North Ocean Boulevard. Sheriff’s deputies on the scene estimated the whale was 20 to 30 feet in length but it was hard to tell for sure because of the waves.

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The whale appeared to clinging to life.  The deputies reported that as the tides pushed the whale closer to shore, rip currents tried to pull it back out to sea.

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Margie Casey posted on her Twitter account that it looked like the whale was trying to beach itself. She also tweeted that two swimmers had attempted to ride it.

In addition to sheriff’s deputies, officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a marine biologist were monitoring the whale’s progress.  The biologist said the whale appeared to be close to death.  He also noted that it had scarring which may have come from being hit by a boat.

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As of 2 p.m. it was about a half mile offshore and was slowly being pushed to the west by the current and outgoing tide.   The FWC said if it turned and tried to beach itself they would bring it in and analyze it.  If not, they would continue to monitor its progress as it heads out to sea.