More than 30 whales have been stranded on a beach on Indonesia's main island of Java and 10 have died.

Local Fishery and Maritime management official Wahid Noor Azis said Thursday a mass rescue operation managed to pull most of the stranded whales into the deep sea.

Wahid said the whales began stranding themselves during high tide Wednesday on the coast of Pesisir village in Probolinggo district in the province of East Java.

The whales, numbering about 32 to 35, are likely short-finned pilot whales, which live in tropical and subtropical waters.

Pilot whales are among the largest of the oceanic dolphins, exceeded in size only by the killer whale. They are also known notorious for stranding themselves on beaches.