(CNN) — A passer-by discovered a 30-foot-long whale, still breathing, on a New York beach Wednesday morning, authorities said.
“We thought it was dead when we arrived, but then it started moving,” Nick Ecock of Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department told CNN Wednesday.
Ecock and fellow members of the fire department discovered the whale at 11 a.m. near Beach 216th Street and Palmer Place, on the north side of the Breezy Point neighborhood, a town still reeling from the damages of Superstorm Sandy.
Someone on a morning stroll noticed the whale, half in the water and half in the sand, and called 911, according to New York Police Department Officer James Duffy. The whale was alive but looked injured, Duffy added.
“We are keeping it wet and dousing it with water to keep it breathing,” Duffy said.
Ecock said that when biologists from Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research on Long Island arrived at mid-afternoon, they determined the mammal was a male Fin whale, the second largest species of whale.
“It doesn’t look like its going to make it. It’s cut up from all the shells,” Ecock said. He added that the whale was emaciated-looking, and a biologist on the scene indicated the whale might have been sick for a while.
“It’s stuck in (water) five feet deep at most,” Ecock said.
Ecock said he hoped that a four-foot sea surge expected Wednesday night due to inclement weather would help foster the whale’s return to the wild.
The Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department posted pictures of the whale on social media.