HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Authorities say a whale that was attacked by a shark had to be put to death after it washed ashore on Hilton Head Island.

The shark sighting Saturday afternoon also closed the beach for a half-hour.

Shore Beach Services told The Island Packet of Hilton Head that the lifeguard saw the whale being attacked around 3 p.m. Saturday, then saw the Pygmy sperm whale wash ashore.

Beach services operations manager Mike Wagner says a veterinarian was called, but the whale could not be saved and was euthanized.

Lifeguards cleared the ocean for 30 minutes, but the shark was not seen again.