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)