Boat hits whale in the Whitsundays
A BOAT has hit a whale off the Whitsunday coast.
Fauna Rescue Whitsundays and VMR Whitsundays reported late-morning today that a runabout vessel hit the whale near Hook Passage and urged boaties to keep a vigilant lookout for whales at all times.
The organisation said a whale may be under water for 20 to 30 minutes before surfacing for air.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority outlined a host of guidelines for people on the water to avoid the species.
No vessels may be within 100m of a whale and no jetskis within 300m.
Mating season for whales stretches from May to September, and even as the time draws to a close they are still expected to be in the area.
When boating around whales - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- Be alert and watch out for whales at all times, particularly during whale migration season (May to September)
- Post a look out to keep an eye out for whales if they are suspected in the vicinity
- Do not approach or disturb mothers and calves - never place a boat between them
- Always move in a parallel direction to the whale or dolphin
- Do not use engine sound or speed to attempt to influence the behaviour of a whale
- When you're leaving an area where whales were present, turn the motor on, post a look out, and move off slowly
- Slow down to minimise the risk of collision where whales have been sighted
- Report any boat strikes and reassure your passengers that the relevant authorities have been contacted to assist the whale.