A roughly 3.5-meter-long whale that washed up on the shore of Amami Oshima island in southwestern Japan died Saturday despite rescue efforts by residents.

Around 10 people, including members of a local whale and dolphin association and a volunteer firefighting organization, attempted to save the whale beached in Tatsugo near the island's northern tip. However, rough seas thwarted their efforts, and the whale died a few hours later.

According to the association, it appeared to be a short-finned pilot whale, which are known to live in the open waters off the island in Kagoshima Prefecture. The beaching is the second involving the species since 2018.

During the rescue effort, the whale gave birth to a calf measuring about 1.5 meters long but the calf was already dead when it was discovered.

The incident marks the third beaching of a whale or dolphin on the island this year. The whale association will dissect the animal to determine the cause of death and plans to preserve it as a skeletal specimen.

Around 50 people looked on as rescuers worked to save the whale.

Kengo Arata, a 42-year-old resident, said the whale was "in such a weak state that it couldn't swim on its own."