Volunteers Fail Save 2 Beached Whales

Rescue workers tried to help a beaked whale and her calf that ran aground Monday in Hollywood, Fla., just north of Miami. As about 300 people watched from the shore, volunteers held towels on the whales and umbrellas over them to keep their skin from drying out in the sun, The New York Times reports.

A team of marine mammal specialists tried to save the distressed whales after they became trapped in shallow waters at Hollywood beach, just north of Miami. The mother died and the calf had to be euthanized, authorities said.

Swimmers spotted the whales around 1 p.m. in waist-deep water and tried to encourage them to head back toward deeper water. The whales briefly swam away, but returned and headed toward the beach.

The mother — which experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identified as a beaked whale — was about 10 to 12 feet long. The calf was about half her size, The Associated Press reports.

In the meantime, Marine Animal Rescue Society spokeswoman Vanessa Lane confirmed the deaths of the 16-foot beaked whale and its baby that was less than 6 months old.

"When an animal beaches itself, it's in severe critical condition," Lane said.

When lifeguards, Broward Sheriff's deputies and volunteers t failed to save the mother whale, there was nothing else to do but to humanely kill the infant since it can't survive without its mother, officials said, The Naples Daily News reports.