A total of 12 whales were found stranded in the waters off China's Zhejiang province on Tuesday, of which three were dead, local police said.
They police said they received a report at 8 a.m. on Tuesday that whales were discovered on a beach in Linhai city, Xinhua news agency reported.
The local public security department and fishery department, as well as locals in the fishing industry, rushed to the site to aid the rescue.
The heat, the weight of the whales, and their location far from the coast have complicated rescue efforts, which are still underway.
Rescuers have dug holes for the whales and are pouring water over them.
They are also using wet towels to keep the mammals damp, and have erected sheds to protect them from the sun, said Zhu Yupeng from the law enforcement team of the city's marine and fishery bureau.