A pygmy sperm whale had to be euthanized after officials rescued the beached marine mammal in Malibu following multiple attempts by a group of good Samaritans to save its life on Friday morning.
It was unclear how long the whale had been stranded on Zuma Beach, but Sky5 first spotted the beached animal just before 8:15 a.m. near Tower 14.
Within minutes, a group of four women were frantically working to push the whale out to sea, aerial video showed.
Their efforts, however, were stymied by the high surf that was pounding the Southern California coastline on Friday, as each crashing wave brought the animal back to the shore.
More bystanders near the beach steadily went down to the water to help; at one point, nearly a dozen people were working together to get the whale further into the ocean.
Soon after, an individual could be seen swimming into the pounding waves alongside the marine creature as attempts to save it grew increasingly desperate. But the whale appeared to be struggling and kept moving back toward the beach.
Other people also tried to help the whale until officials arrived at the scene.
Aerial footage showed lifeguards bringing makeshift gurney to the water around 9 a.m. and rescuing the whale, who was placed into an awaiting California Wildlife Center van.
Capt. Remy Smith with L.A. County Lifeguards confirmed to KTLA that his agency as well as personnel from the Wildlife Center went to the scene to rescue the 12-foot beached whale.
The animal, however, was found to be suffering from numerous health issues, including chronic wounds, diarrhea and blindness, according to Jennifer Brent, the Wildlife Center's executive director.
"We were advised by experienced veterinarians at Sea World in cooperation with NOAA that this species does not fare well in rehabilitation and combined with other problems ... the decision was made to euthanize," she wrote in an emailed statement.
The carcass will be taken to the Natural History Museum for testing, she added.
KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this story.