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Feds looking for swimmers who rode dead whale

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:57 pm | Updated: 10:39 am, Fri Aug 16, 2013.

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Federal officials are looking for the two swimmers who were seen riding a dying whale in South Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asks anyone with more information to call their hotline (800-856-1964).

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports a Pompano Beach resident snapped a picture of one man riding the dying whale Sunday morning. The swimmers could face a misdemeanor conviction of harassing a marine mammal, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.

City officials had the 40-foot sperm whale carcass towed out to sea rather than allow scientists to perform a necropsy. Federal officials argued that learning the animal's cause of death would provide invaluable information for conservation.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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