According to Daily Mail, the creature was spotted swimming about 200 metres from the shore with many people swimming dangerously close to it, breaching the 100-metre no-go zone set up by Australia's Marine Conservation Program. According to Michael Boon, one of the kayakers in the water, the whale came as close as one metre from the people a few times and there were about 25 people in the water.
"There were a couple of occasions I thought it might bump us. It stayed in the bay for 6 or more hours," he told NDTV.
After several videos appeared to show beachgoers approaching the whale, many on social media criticised them for risking their lives for the sake of taking photos.
On Michael Boon's Facebook page, where he posted several videos, people called the swimmers "ignorant" for being so close to the animal.
"Cool seeing a whale but stupid to be that close and stay in water with it!" wrote Rachel McKenzie.
"If you're one of the kayakers off Crayfish Point this evening 7pm-ish chasing the whale from 10m behind in a big group, I hope you read this: You should be bloody ashamed of yourselves!!!" Mani Baker wrote on Whale Spotting Tasmania's Facebook page.
Following the anger on social media, Mr Boon came to the swimmers' defence on Facebook.
"These swimmers did not approach within about 50m of this whale. They did not trap it, encircle it, harass it, or any of the other things you might be worried they did. I'll say upfront that I was on a kayak and I paddled to less than 100m (though still more than 50m) from the whale, and that was in breach of the guidelines. Maybe we were lucky in this case, but this whale didn't seem bothered. It swam to us and to the swimmers. On a couple of occasions it stopped by us and just lay there, presumably having a good look at us," he explained on Whale Spotting Tasmania's Facebook page.
Experts, however, said the whale wasn't in distress and in good condition.
"It is simply having a rest, and photos I have seen [show] that it is healthy ... and should not be disturbed," Parks officer Kris Carlyon told ABC.
An advisory was also posted by Tasmania Police about on their Facebook page after people shared videos of the whale splashing around.
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