SEA ISLE CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- All eight dolphins that were stranded on a beach Tuesday morning in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, have died.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said two of the dolphins died right away.
The other six were assisted by a veterinarian, the center said, and their conditions were "rapidly deteriorating."
"The decision was made to humanely euthanize the dolphins to prevent further suffering, as returning them to the ocean would have only prolonged their inevitable death," the MMSC said.
All eight dolphins have been taken to the New Jersey state lab for necropsies.
"We share in the public's sorrow for these beautiful animals, and hope that the necropsies will help us understand the reason for their stranding," the MMSC said.
Sister station WPVI's chopper was overhead during the effort to save the dolphins. People brought buckets of water from the ocean to douse the animals.
"There was probably 50 dolphins just going back and forth all morning. And the next thing you know, we saw some coming straight in,” Ramsey said.
Neighbors in the area called 911 after the mammals ended up stranded on the sand between the beaches at 50th and 52nd streets.
"Two of them that were obviously deceased and then there were six of them that were still alive,”Sea Isle Police Chief Anthony Garreffi said of the pod of eight dolphins.
Helped by concerned neighbors, first responders tried to keep the dolphins comfortable with damp sheets and buckets of ocean water until Marine Mammal Stranding Center officials arrived. The animals were transported to MMSC in Brigantine, New Jersey.
According to its website, MMSC is “dedicated to responding to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey's waterways and to the rehabilitation of these animals for release back into the wild.”
Officials with the organization said MMSC made a decision to “humanely euthanize the dolphins to prevent further suffering.”
"In all my 30 years down here, I've only seen one big huge dolphin wash up and he was dead when he washed up,” Alan Nesensohn, a nearby neighbor, said.
Other neighbors are concerned about what caused the stranding event.
"Your guess is as good as mine, but my first instinct is that something is terribly wrong,” area resident Joann Fratantoro said. “I've never seen six dolphins come up on the beach ever."