Olympian Taylor McKeown Fined For Whale Incident

In October of last year, Australian Olympian Taylor McKeown found herself in the middle of an environmental scandal of sorts, with the breaststroking specialist accused of riding a jet ski too close to a pod of whales.

The incident occurred off of Point Cartwright near Mooloolaba Beech off the Sunshine Coast, with video of the silver medalist and 2 friends, included in our original report here.

Per Australian law, jet skis are not permitted to be within 300 meters of whales. Penalties for violating this distance include fines up to $15,000, but the Sunshine Coast reports that McKeown has been fined $630 for the incident.

A representative of the Department of Environment and Science department said that the fine was issued under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. (The Sunshine Coast)

At the time of the original story, McKeown denied allegations, stating “Anyone who knows me knows my passion for wildlife. Having professionals look at it is the best thing that can happen. We were literally floating in the water. They got closer and we sat there motionless. If whales approach that’s their decision.” (Sunshine Coast)

In This Story

Leave a Reply

13 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted



There’s a news item headline I didn’t expect to see.


Is this really “news worthy”?

E Gamble

No. It’s not to me. Was a whale harmed? I’m sure it wasn’t intentional. People make mistakes.


I rememeber seing the video of it last October – there was no harm or possibility of harm in regard to how McKeown
handled her little mistake .

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!