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Old 25-08-2015, 11:19   #46
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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^^

Official interpretation: "A vessel engaged in diving operations, whether underway or at anchor, is usually considered restricted in its ability to maneuver if divers are attached to the vessel while diving. If divers are swimming free, it is the responsibility of the operator to determine if the vessel's movements are restricted by the diving operation. If the vessel cannot keep out of the way of other vessels as required by the Navigation Rules, the vessel must exhibit, by day, the "A" flag signal. "

So, essentially it is your choice if the divers are unconnected, but you would (usually) be foolish not to fly the flag as it gives you privileges and allows you to maneuver to cover and protect the divers.

Further from that official interpretation . . . .

"It is reaffirmed the need for and sufficiency of the "A" flag signal as a means of
indicating that vessels engaged in diving operations were restricted in their ability to maneuver. The red-and-white flag may not be used in lieu of the "A" flag signal because it does not serve as a navigation signal and does not indicate that a vessel is restricted in its ability to maneuver. The Council strongly recommended that, during diving operations, the red-and-white flag be exhibited on a float in the water to mark the location of divers, regardless of whether, in the determination of the operator, his or her vessel was required to exhibit the "A" flag signal. "
But is that like fishing? Commercial boats are considered to be fishing boat per the col regs. JimBob trolling on the weekend is just a power boat.

So does the official interpretation refer to commercial dive operations and would charter dive trips be considered commercial?

Reality in the USA, the red/white flag is more likely to be recognized and respected. Even in the carribean, I usually see this flag on the dive boats.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:25   #47
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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.....Dive flags are pretty often ignored to be truthful, I wish I had a quarter for every time I was tied into a "wreck" diving with my dive flag displayed, to have a fishing boat run right up and drop anchor right where we are diving, then drop their invisible lines with sharp kooks on them.
Was diving off K Tower in the Northern Gulf leading two inexperienced divers. Toward the end of our dive, we started seeing several bull sharks and what I think was a thresher (a first for me). There had also been a few nurse sharks under ledges when we started the dive. When I came up, my ex was furious and said "get on the boat now." Apparently, the boat next to us had started chumming. My ex had asked him to stop, saying there were divers in the water, but the guy just said "I don't care" and kept chumming. It was a pretty memorable dive for me No harm, no foul, right? Though....if there had been a gun on our boat, the outcome might have been different.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:29   #48
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
But is that like fishing? Commercial boats are considered to be fishing boat per the col regs. JimBob trolling on the weekend is just a power boat.

So does the official interpretation refer to commercial dive operations and would charter dive trips be considered commercial?

Reality in the USA, the red/white flag is more likely to be recognized and respected. Even in the carribean, I usually see this flag on the dive boats.
Most everyone I know flies them both, side by side, and on their boat. The divers should (ideally) stay within 100 feet of the boat or carry their own flag. And if not a flag, then the biggest diver sausage they can find.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:30   #49
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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>>But is that like fishing? Commercial boats are considered to be fishing boat per the col regs. JimBob trolling on the weekend is just a power boat.

That is an incorrect interpretation. Commercial boats are not per say considered to be 'fishing boats per the colregs'. It is whether the boat has gear in the water which restricts its ability to maneuver that determines it status. A pleasure boat can perfectly well have such gear and a commercial boat might not.

The official definition in the colregs does not mention "commercial" at all . . . it is: " The term “vessel engaged in fishing” means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls or other fishing apparatus which restrict maneuverability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict maneuverability. "

So a commercial sport fishing boat with trolling lines would NOT be given colreg privilege but a pleasure boat with nets in the water would be.


>>So does the official interpretation refer to commercial dive operations and would charter dive trips be considered commercial?

No, again, it is whether the vessel is restricted, and also whether the diving operations pose an obstruction to other vessels, that determines the status. Not whether it is commercial or not.
........
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:40   #50
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Realize this is not a diving web site, so perhaps any discussion of what DIVERS are required to do is totally off-topic here. Nevertheless...the context was what DIVERS have to fly. COLREGS regulates what boaters have to do. It is not binding law on DIVERS. If you happen to be both a boater and a diver...then you've got two masters to serve.


But I ignored COLREGS because if the party in question is just a diver...it doesn't apply. Divers don't have to wear nav lights, either.(G)


Gamayun-
Is that tower out of radio range for the USCG? Because if someone started chumming, intentionally attracting sharks while I was in the water...or others were...I'd call for any available LEO to come out and make an arrest. Offhand "reckless endangerment" comes to mind. And if I was responding to that...I'd strip the boat down to the hull looking for additional citations to give Mr. DumbAss.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:49   #51
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

^^ LOL . . . good try . . . but . . . the OP was asking about a 'starboard spreader', so I would guess there was a boat involved

And thus the colregs required!
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:53   #52
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

I wasn't responding to the OP's original question, but to the specifics of what a diver had to do. I'll try to remember to add "In response to msg##" to all posts, to make sure no one can be confused that way again.


Or perhaps you'd prefer "Google it yourself" when the answers are so widely available directly from the sources?
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:55   #53
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Pretty sure K tower is one of several towers used by the Air force for navigation.
I'm not surprised by that attitude though, I've had a few run in's with sport fishermen in the Gulf, what ticks them off is once a dive boat is on a "wreck" they are supposed to maintain 150' distance from that "wreck", the wrecks are artificial reefs put there for fishing and diving and they in fact do attract fish, so we divers are ruining their fishing.
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:00   #54
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

"the wrecks are artificial reefs put there for fishing and "
And you've never gone fishing on a wreck, with a spear, speargun, or knife?


I've got as much right to take bugs off a wreck, by hand, as the guy with the rod and reel does to shoot crap over whether the fish are biting.


And once you figure it out, all you need is a dive knife to take flatfish. Honest.
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:17   #55
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

No, I used to spearfish often, still have two Ocean Rhino guns, just trying to explain why the fishermen don't like us divers is all, there is some animosity between the two groups, it's not imagined.
I fish with rod and reel too, and use my spear like a trash stick to pick up flounder, find a site where they are plentiful and stick one after the other, just like picking up trash.

Two years ago the sharks at Panama City got bad, real bad, every time I bounced a wreck I saw a shark, usually a Bull. I had a real experience with a large Hammerhead. That got me to stop spearfishing, then I bought the sailboat, and it just isn't a good dive boat so I'm just back to cave diving again for now.
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:26   #56
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Gamayun-
Is that tower out of radio range for the USCG? Because if someone started chumming, intentionally attracting sharks while I was in the water...or others were...I'd call for any available LEO to come out and make an arrest. Offhand "reckless endangerment" comes to mind. And if I was responding to that...I'd strip the boat down to the hull looking for additional citations to give Mr. DumbAss.
Now that I am older and much, much wiser (), what we should have done is made note of the boat's registration number and lodged a complaint. With pictures, if that was possible. I used to work for the State of Florida dealing with marine policy issues, and I can tell you that unless you're calling SOS, an LEO is not going to come out and investigate a diver/fisher dispute. IIRC, there was one marine patrol officer for every 100 miles of coastline. Offshore North Florida used to be (and maybe still is) a wild and woolly place. And as to those caves, my ex found the remains of 4 people who came upon a drug deal gone bust out of Panama City. Ah, the stories from growing up there
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:31   #57
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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And as to those caves, my ex found the remains of 4 people who came upon a drug deal gone bust out of Panama City. Ah, the stories from growing up there
Remember which cave? I've not heard of that. I mostly dive in Marianna, Vortex isn't a decent cave at all, and well I just dislike the place.
Morrison is a nice cavern dive, wish I had dove it before they dynamited the cave. Did some of my scooter training there and lost a set of regs, turned my back, and poof.
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:42   #58
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Most everyone I know flies them both, side by side, and on their boat. The divers should (ideally) stay within 100 feet of the boat or carry their own flag. And if not a flag, then the biggest diver sausage they can find.
Do you know where they got their 1 meter tall alpha flags?
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:53   #59
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Do you know where they got their 1 meter tall alpha flags?
I don't recall ever seeing anyone with a 1-m tall flag.

This might help answer the issue of flag size: You are being redirected... (OR Google www.scubaboard.com Alpha "dive" flag)

....though it takes some reading to get through and I certainly didn't read it all!
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:03   #60
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Remember which cave? I've not heard of that. I mostly dive in Marianna, Vortex isn't a decent cave at all, and well I just dislike the place.
Morrison is a nice cavern dive, wish I had dove it before they dynamited the cave. Did some of my scooter training there and lost a set of regs, turned my back, and poof.
I don't recall the name of the sinkhole. It was way back in the woods and connected to the Aucilla River, so not many dove there. It happened a long time ago. Google Sandy Creek Murders. Funny thing is when he took me there to see the place, we were just about back to the car when a young boy runs up to us yelling, "come help, my daddy's drowning." OMG, that made our hearts race. As it happened, the man was at the edge of the sinkhole on an ATV with his girlfriend on the back and he accidentally hit the reverse button. They both flew over the side and landed upside down in the water. Naturally, it took a while to sort out and by the time we ran back there, they were hauling everything back up. The GF was pissed, but everyone lived. For another day.

Edit: Just found this. http://thedecostop.com/forums/showth...-Twilight-Zone. It is pretty fascinating, but he did not include much of the back story -- the girls had snuck out of the house to play pool, a favorite late night thing of mine to do at their age. Their mother had no idea what happened to them until almost a year after they disappeared. "There but for the grace of God go I..."
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