The boat was spotted metres from a whale and its calf off Point Arkwright.
The boat was spotted metres from a whale and its calf off Point Arkwright. Jo Ward

Photos reveal how close reckless boatie came to whales

A SUNSHINE Coast couple were "disgusted" when they watched a boat come "within metres" of whales off Point Arkwright on Monday.

Coolum Beach local Rhonda Donaldson and her husband, Kevin, were watching from the Point Arkwright lookout when they saw a boatie follow a whale and its calf about 200m from the shore.

"At one point (the boat) was actually between two whales, that's how close he was," Mrs Donaldson said.

"It was just ridiculous."

Concerned residents said they were disappointed they didn't see authorities intervene when the boat followed the whales.
Concerned residents said they were disappointed they didn't see authorities intervene when the boat followed the whales. Jo Ward

She said she watched the boat follow the whales before reporting it to lifeguards.

"It just kept following the whales, and I just couldn't' watch anymore," she said.

Lifeguards were also monitoring the boat, Mrs Donaldson said, but Surf Life Saving Queensland could not confirm a report had been made when contacted by the Daily.

Under Queensland law boats are not permitted to come within 100m of a whale, and cannot travel more than six knots or speeds that create a wake within 300m of a whale.

Should there be higher penalties for boats that come too close to whales?

This poll ended on 01 November 2019.

Current Results

Yes

87%

No

10%

Not sure

1%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Maritime Safety Queensland told the Daily it had received no reports of a boat coming too close to whales at Point Arkwright, but urged residents to follow the strict Department of Environment and Science rules.

The penalty for intentionally moving too close to a whale is an on-the-spot fine of $630.75 or a maximum fine of $20,814.

Mrs Donaldson said she was disappointed no one had appeared to intercept the boat on Monday.

"Most people, thankfully, are acting in line with rules … but you will always get that one idiot," she said.

"How stupid are these people? Obviously they have no respect for the laws or the environment. I would have liked to have seen somebody do something."



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