Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-08-2015, 01:28   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,506
Re: Questions about diver down flag

I don't know of anyone who would look for a diver flag up on the spreader of a sailboat, or recognize what it is from that location. I certainly wouldn't be looking there.

Dumb idea.
__________________

__________________
Kenomac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 09:25   #17
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: California
Boat: Alerion Express 38 Yawl
Posts: 267
Re: Questions about diver down flag

We're dealing with two flags here, which are somewhat similar, yet different.

One is the Sport Diver's Flag, which is a nearly-square red flag with a stripe through it. While it doesn't have a legal place in the federal regulations, it is recognized by the Coast Guard. It makes the place where the diver(s) is underwater, so proximity is important. US Powerboating recommends diving no further than 100' from the flag, but it is not a law.

The second is Code Flag Alpha (white/blue with a swallowtail) which may be shown during the day from a vessel engaged in diving operations. Supposedly it's a minimum of 1m on a side. It indicates that the vessel showing it is limited in it's ability to maneuver, which is why it is rubbish to paint the flag on the side of dive vessels. It is intended as a warning to other vessels, but I don't think that it changes the Rules of the Road.

Chuck Hawley
Nominally a sailor, but also a Powerboat Instructor
__________________

__________________
Chuck Hawley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 10:06   #18
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,230
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I don't know of anyone who would look for a diver flag up on the spreader of a sailboat, or recognize what it is from that location. I certainly wouldn't be looking there.

Dumb idea.
I wasn't suggesting this would be the only place to place a diver down flag, but it could be one of the places, particularly if the primary is floating with the divers. A spreader does seem a little high off the water, but a 100-foot dive boat captain I know runs one off the top of his vessel for greater visibility and says that sometimes other boaters still don't notice them...
__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 19:17   #19
Registered User
 
austinrick's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Boat: Bayfield 29C
Posts: 80
Re: Questions about diver down flag

The scenario I anticipate is me somewhere along the ICW this fall having to go over the side of my sailboat at anchor to do some necessary chore with FMP hidden, watching me thru binocs for the moment I dunk my head under the surface. Same scenario in the Bahamas.

What to have displayed at that moment is the question. Thanks for all your replies.
__________________
Rick Willis
Williamsburg, VA
Bayfield 29 - s/v Puffin
austinrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 19:46   #20
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Check out the FLORIDA laws on one of their state web sites. Even the flag size is specified, and differs from other states.


The problem with a float is that some idiot in a boat is always coming right to it, to see what the floating thing is. Had a watercop in Westchester (LI sound) actually motor up to our boat "to investigate because no one was in it" despite the floating dive flag bobbing around next to it. How do you say, politely, "Officer, just take out your summons book and write yourself up." ?
Three of us were diving under our floating Hookah with its red & white flag. I happened up just as a boat was motoring onto us to see what that thing was.

It seems like an idiot-proof system. They just hadn't accounted for these idiots.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 20:49   #21
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,022
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Idiots aren't the only problem. There used to be a restaurant with a generous policy of letting divers use their (really large) beach, but of course, dive flags were more of an encumbrance than anything else and with swimmers around, we just got in the habit of hugging bottom if we heard a small boat coming in, usually beaching it for lunch at the restaurant.


And the, just when I'd heard everything, one day I surface (we'd surface back to back to make sure nothing was coming at us) and so help me, somebody was setting down a SEAPLANE!


But no, Florida is not the only state to require diving flags, although it is the first I've heard of that requires them for SNORKELING as well as SCUBA. Tells you something about what the Florida watercops know about the Florida boaters...


Having an alpha flag on a vessel DOES in fact have a purpose in COLREGS. If you're flying Alpha, you are an encumbered vessel that is probably UNABLE TO SAFELY MOVE OR MANEUVER because your diver may be on a tether, or may be endangered by your props.


A number of divers have been injured badly by props on the dive boat they were diving from. A number of divemasters and captains have adopted policies like securing the engine keys in a locked place, and not removing them until every diver has checked back in. (And DAN provides check-in tags and boards to commercial members, similar to coal miners hanging up their tag when they leave the mine shaft, so management can be SURE if there's anyone still down there.)


New Law in Florida - Dive Flags AND Dive Buoys - The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association


Easy to find the Florida laws online. Buoy OR 12"x12" flag in the immediate area, and the diver (or snorkeler) to make a best effort to stay within 100' of it in restricted areas (channels, etc.) or 300' in wide open seas. And definite penalties for boaters violating the safety zone.


Or you can drop some conventional danger buoys marked "MINEFIELD, KEEP CLEAR" and make sure there's at least one old horn mine floating close up by it. You know, for the sake of boaters who just can't read.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 23:51   #22
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,936
Images: 1
Re: Questions about diver down flag

I guess this is one of those instances where the US has its own policiies - but why?

Internationally the Blue/White alpha flag is recognized as the "diver down" flag. Why all of sudden have a red/white one? Certainly most non-americans will not recognize that flag as a diver flag -unless they have cruised in florida.

Not meaning to start a US versus the rest of the world arugment - but this is silly. How did it get started?
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2015, 23:58   #23
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW Australia
Boat: Traditional 30
Posts: 1,981
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Privleoplag View Post
and let's not start stories about idiots using the dive flag as a race marker.
Hmm Are you confusing that with the Blue Peter? Or have they confused it with the Blue peter?
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 00:51   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,440
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
Hmm Are you confusing that with the Blue Peter? Or have they confused it with the Blue peter?
Blue Peter?? Isn't that a sailor's venereal disease?

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 01:05   #25
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW Australia
Boat: Traditional 30
Posts: 1,981
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Blue Peter?? Isn't that a sailor's venereal disease?

Jim
Lol no.. Its code flag 'P'.

Usually raised to alert all and sundry that the vessel is about to sail.
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 04:03   #26
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW Australia
Boat: Traditional 30
Posts: 1,981
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinrick View Post
Wiki states that the diver down flag can be flown from a boat as well as a float. Is it acceptable-- even in Florida --to fly a red/white diver flag from the starboard spreader? What is the typical radius/distance from the flag (wherever it's displayed) a diver can (legally) wander?


Also, does anyone here know offhand whether Bahamas requires the int'l blue & white diver flag, or is the US red/white flag recognized?

-thanks
Internationally, code flag A is the norm. If one were flying anything other than "alpha" they should expect to be ignored.
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 05:17   #27
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,024
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I guess this is one of those instances where the US has its own policiies - but why?

Internationally the Blue/White alpha flag is recognized as the "diver down" flag. Why all of sudden have a red/white one? Certainly most non-americans will not recognize that flag as a diver flag -unless they have cruised in florida.

Not meaning to start a US versus the rest of the world arugment - but this is silly. How did it get started?

The red and white diver down flag comes from not too long after WWII, the guy who used to own Vortex Springs came up with it, apparently he got the idea from a Navy solid red flag that indicated danger, and modified that.
I believe this diver down flag pre-dates all others, but I'm not sure on that, it was originally an un-official flag that you only ever saw in the Fl. Panhandle, and I think just sort of got adopted by the dive industry, sorta like the line arrow used in cave diving, which Forrest Wilson invented, but freely gave away.
For what it's worth, most have a wire that holds the flag open in a no wind condition, and going up and down the anchor line is always preferred, for many reasons. If your drift diving, as in Lobster hunting for instance, you should trail the flag on a float
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 06:14   #28
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Questions about diver down flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I guess this is one of those instances where the US has its own policiies - but why?
Colreg rule 27 (http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navrules/navrules.pdf) says that (according to federal regulations) Flag A (blue and white) is the appropriate DIVE flag both internationally AND in US waters.

So it's not "the US", but why individual states would prescribe a different flag that is the puzzle/question. It would seem to me that in those states, to be technically correct, you would have to fly BOTH flags. Flag A to satisfy colregs and red/white to satisfy those state's law.

Just as a note . . . in both international and US colregs, the Flag A must be (minimum) 1m square in size and only flown when actually 'engaged in diving' . . . . both aspects of the rule that are very commonly broken all around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
The second is Code Flag Alpha ( . . . . but I don't think that it changes the Rules of the Road.
Chuck, Flag A is designated to clearly indicate a 'A vessel engaged in Diving operations, when restricted in her ability to maneuver" so it "changes the rules of the road' in that the flag changes the dive boat status to 'restricted in ability to maneuver status". I agree with you the dive boats should not display the flag when they are not actually engaged in diving.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 06:17   #29
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Re: Questions about diver down flag

To be a legal divers flag an alpha flag has to be 1 meter on a side. I've never found an alpha flag of that size available for purchase. Additionally how does one put a 1 meter flag on a divers float? Technically the alpha flag simply means that the vessel is restricted in its ability to maneuver, not that it has a diver in the water. The alpha flag does not imply a safety zone for the divers. IMHO having an "dive" flag that does not indicate a required safety zone is stupid. The alpha flag simply tells the skipper of the other boat that you are not going to be able to get out of his way in a situation where he would be the stand on vessel. I think it is much better to have a unique flag that says there are divers in the water.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2015, 06:34   #30
Registered User
 
SimonV's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Posts: 1,316
Re: Questions about diver down flag



Diver down USA only. Alfa Dive flag rest or the world.
__________________

__________________
Simon

https://svgoodonya.blogspot.com.au/
SimonV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canadian flag or change to British flag on buying boat drcot3 Dollars & Cents 5 26-02-2015 12:09
Aussie Flag or US Flag on Vessel ? AllezCat Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 48 25-05-2011 06:14
Has anyone used Dri Diver or Hull Super Scrub for hull cleaning??? avazquez Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 1 02-07-2008 22:31
Diver in Atlantic City, NJ Area marc Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 11-10-2006 21:14
Missing Diver found ALIVE Alan Wheeler Pacific & South China Sea 19 25-04-2006 17:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.