CARLSBAD, Calif. — An adult pygmy sperm whale that was found washed ashore Thursday at Carlsbad State Beach died, rescue officials said.

The whale died despite a grand effort by crews and beachgoers in their rescue attempt, SeaWorld San Diego confirmed to FOX 5.

Around 5 p.m., there were reports of a beached whale at Lifeguard Tower 28 on Carlsbad Village Drive, where an 800-pound whale was found struggling in the surfline by Biology from the Virginia Military Institute.

“I saw the whale come up on to shore and I tried to lead it out past the surf a few times, probably about a half-dozen times, but for it to just comeback,” said Kern Aughineaugh, a biology student.  

When FOX 5 arrive on scene, beachgoers were seen helping the SeaWorld San Diego rescue team carry the marine mammal on a stretcher 400 yards off the beach and up a rocky embankment.

The whale appeared to have lacerations and could be seen moving its tail and breathing while it was being lifted to the street above.

Rescuers then took the whale to the vet operations at SeaWorld San Diego, but it later died due to its injuries, per officials.

A necropsy will be performed on the rare and illusive whale to see why it passed away. 

FOX 5’s Jaime Chambers contributed to this story.