A Broward Sheriff's Office statement said beachgoers spotted
the whale Sunday morning off Pompano Beach about 40 feet from shore.
Tides kept washing the whale close to shore as rip currents pulled it
Meanwhile, authorities are planning an investigation into its death after a swimmer was seen straddling the animal.
NBCNews.com reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration plans to look into a report from resident of Pompano
Beach, Margie Casey, who said she saw the whale alive earlier in the day
and saw one of two swimmers get on top of the whale.
It's illegal to harass a marine mammal and if someone did get on top
of the whale, it could have caused further stress and contributed to its
death, according to Blair Mase of NOAA.
Earlier this year, a Pinellas County woman was arrested after photos showed her riding on top of a manatee.
A marine biologist monitoring the whale's progress noted that it had scarring, which may have come from it being hit by a boat.
Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales and an endangered species