Boaties warned to lookout for whales after recent sightings
BOATIES have been warned to stay on the lookout after reports of whales migrating in Capricorn Coast waters.
The Great Barrier Reef is a breeding ground to about 30 species of whales and dolphins. The most commonly sighted whales are massive humpbacks.
Coast Guard Yeppoon Flotilla Commander Jim Warren said they had recently received a couple of reports of whales sighted migrating off Capricorn Coast.
He advised vessel operators to keep a good lookout for them in the coming months and keep safe distances from them.
"Whales can usually be seen migrating from now through to September or even October," he said.
"When travelling at night be very careful. Don't go speeding because whales are impossible to see. They can cause quite the speed bump if you hit one.
"In the past people have hit them and dragged the motor right off the back of their boat."
A vessel must not approach closer than 100 metres to a whale, or 300 metres if the whale is a calf.
If your vessel is closer than 300 metres to a whale, it must be operated at a slow speed.
If a whale approaches, take all precautions to avoid a collision. Either slow down and steer away from the whale or place the engines in neutral and let the whale pass.
Prohibited vessels, such as jetskis, must not approach closer than 300 metres.
If you accidentally hit a whale you must report it.