Sunday saw the NYPD in a different type of emergency situation as a whale accidentally beached itself just off of Orchard Beach in the Bronx at around noon. Passersby reportedly spotted the whale on Sunday afternoon.

CBS New York quoted one witness, Lucy Dalton, as saying they were walking along the edge of the water and at first thought they were looking at a dolphin. However, they soon realized it was too big to be a dolphin and then it struck them that it was actually a whale, which is reportedly not something you would expect to see on Orchard Beach.

Crowds of spectators tried to help the whale on Orchard Beach

According to Dalton, a crowd of people soon gathered to watch the whale, which was swimming close to the shore, when they suddenly realized something wasn’t right. Dalton reportedly told 1010 WINS that the whale was swimming in circles close to the shoreline. At first they thought the whale was eating, but then it got really close and beached itself. The New York Police Department’s Harbor and Emergency Services Units arrived on the scene in an attempt to rescue the whale and get it back out into the ocean.

People pulling together to help the whale

Dalton said that even though it was a sad experience to see a whale beaching itself, it was great to see people coming together, trying to help.

She said it was nice to see that no one was trying to take selfies or trying to glamorize the moment. Dalton added that everyone was doing their best to help and all felt bad for the whale, with many calling 911 or the Coast Guard – anyone who could help the beached whale.

Video of the incident posted to Instagram

Sergio Oquendo, another witness at the beach, posted a video to Instagram.

He explained to 1010 WINS that the whale beached itself and that the Emergency Services Units were there, trying to drag the whale back out into the water.

According to Oquendo, NYPD officials were awaiting marine biologists, who were set to arrive later on Sunday afternoon. There were many sympathetic comments on the Instagram video posted to the “sirgeeoooooh” account, with users wishing the whale well, although one person did ask if Oquendo tried giving the whale “mouth to mouth.”

Pix 11 reports that according to officials, the whale is around 10 feet in length and they believe it is a humpback whale. As at 2 p.m. police were still trying to get the whale back into the water. Reportedly, experts from the Riverhead Foundation were heading that way to assist the police and emergency teams.