Two sperm whales have died after beaching themselves on the East China coast in the past two days, the China News Service reported.

On Sunday, villagers found one dead whale beached

near Yangkou, in Jiangsu province, while another whale lingered in the deeper water of a channel nearby.

The second whale then became stranded and died on Monday afternoon, about 10km from the first while.

Fisherman Yin Qiufeng said he spotted the whale on the beach early on Sunday.

“[At first] I thought it was a capsized ship, but at a second glance I found it was a huge fish,” Yin said. “In the beginning I didn’t dare go too close to have a better look because I thought it was still alive, but later I found out it was already dead.”

The authorities fenced off the first whale to take its measurements. An expert at the scene said it was a male adult about 15.3m long and weighed about 33 tonnes, Xinhua reported.

The body of the other whale retrieved transported to another place to be dissected.

Scientists were not sure why the two whales were stranded.

VIEW: Sperm whales beach themselves in China