Delray Beach Ocean Rescue lifeguard Conor Gorman said the squid seemed weak and was squirting ink when it washed up on the beach Tuesday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday.
"It's used to being in places that are dark and black," he said. "To be in the sunshine on the beach was not a good spot."
Gorman said beach-goers placed the squid in a cooler and attempted to release it in the water.
"He wasn't doing too good," Gorman said. "He was swimming like straight down and shooting ink. He was trying to swim against the current."
The lifeguard said he then walked the squid further out into the water, where it was able to swim away.
"He'll probably get eaten by a shark," Gorman said. "But I'd rather have (the squid) die in the ocean where it's supposed to."