Olympian under investigation for jet skiing too close to whales; video

Spanning a 20-minute period, a photographer on Point Cartwright in Sunshine Coast, Australia, snapped photos of three women allegedly jet skiing too close to three pods of whales and sent them to the authorities.

According to the Sunshine Coast Daily, driving the jet ski was Australian Olympic swimmer Taylor McKeown, who won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year.

Now, McKeown is under investigation by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection since jet skis are required to remain at least 300 meters of whales. Riders could face fines in excess of $15,000 if caught within those parameters.

Based on the photos, McKeown and her friends were extremely close to the whales off Mooloolaba Beach, but she claimed the whales approached them and she denied any wrongdoing.

"Anyone who knows me knows my passion for wildlife," McKeown told the Sunshine Coast Daily. "We were literally floating in the water. They got closer and we sat there motionless. If whales approach that's their decision."

The video McKeown posted on Instagram appears to confirm one pod of whales approached the women.

A post shared by Taylor Mckeown (@tay_mckeown) on

McKeown told the paper the only time she had the jet ski motor on was when she needed to point the jet ski into oncoming waves to prevent capsizing or to move away from approaching whales.

An "extremely tail slappy" calf forced her to move out of the way because of the danger it posed, she said.

However, the photographer obviously believed the jet skiers were out of line, saying, "We witnessed repeated interactions with whales and calves by a jet ski as I photographed the incident."

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