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Old 23-08-2015, 10:26   #1
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Questions about diver down flag

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
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:32   #2
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Well, here's a partial answer: Dive Flag Law
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:10   #3
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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What is the typical radius/distance from the flag (wherever it's displayed) a diver can (legally) wander?
It is not the legal issue, but the safety one that would concern me. If I am diving on my own I trail a float with an alpha flag (the international signal for diver below) and it is never more than 5-10m from me when I am freediving. Being "in the right" is little consolation if a speed boat passes over you when you surface.

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Old 23-08-2015, 11:25   #4
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

in Minnesota, the diver down flag give you a hundred and fifty feet of clearance whether it's on a float or on the boat.
I find when I travel a lot of boaters don't know the blue and white International dive flag, I trust the red and white diver down flag much more. You will even find that dive shops in other countries are more apt to be running the red and white diver down flag at least that's what I've seen.
I always fly the red and white diver down flag when I'm free diving. don't really Scuba much
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:28   #5
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

and let's not start stories about idiots using the dive flag as a race marker.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:10   #6
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

As a scuba diver and free diver enthusiast I know what the flag looks like and I use one. That said... it's so easy to not see one, so I look out for boats and basically assume that I'm invisible and that nobody sees the flagged buoy.

Twice this past week I missed a diver down flag while motoring and sailing our boat. The first time, the diver was where me and others would never have expected him to be 200 meters off the coastal rocks and in the middle of a bay. The second time, the swimmer was just being an idiot and came less than five feet from broadsiding our boat with his head. His escort boat had stopped paddling to allow us to pass, then knucklehead swims across from behind the paddle boat and right into us. He's was pissed... And stupid for not watching where he was going.

Basically, always assume you're invisible when snorkeling or diving... or riding a bike. After cycling for over 100,000 miles during the past 15 years, I've never been hit by a car or gotten into an argument with a motorist by assuming I'm invisible. All my friends have been hit at least once.

You may be in the right... But you could end up dead right.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:37   #7
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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." ?
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Old 23-08-2015, 14:42   #8
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Usually go down and back up the anchor line. Makes it easy to hold a depth if you need to and if they hit me, they were clearly too close.


In principal, it's nice to say you have X ft radius but reality is something as simple as calm winds can make the flag hard to see and I wouldn't count on anyone seeing your head sticking up just out of the water.
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Old 23-08-2015, 15:08   #9
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
As a scuba diver and free diver enthusiast I know what the flag looks like and I use one. That said... it's so easy to not see one, so I look out for boats and basically assume that I'm invisible and that nobody sees the flagged buoy.

Twice this past week I missed a diver down flag while motoring and sailing our boat. The first time, the diver was where me and others would never have expected him to be 200 meters off the coastal rocks and in the middle of a bay. The second time, the swimmer was just being an idiot and came less than five feet from broadsiding our boat with his head. His escort boat had stopped paddling to allow us to pass, then knucklehead swims across from behind the paddle boat and right into us. He's was pissed... And stupid for not watching where he was going.

Basically, always assume you're invisible when snorkeling or diving... or riding a bike. After cycling for over 100,000 miles during the past 15 years, I've never been hit by a car or gotten into an argument with a motorist by assuming I'm invisible. All my friends have been hit at least once.

You may be in the right... But you could end up dead right.
Yep, be very much on the Defensive side. Hard to see and divers often stray far afield. Once returning on a dive boat in heavy wind chop we passed close to a diver who was afield from his flag which also was hard to see. Seems like the guy was way out in the bay for some reason.
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Old 23-08-2015, 15:17   #10
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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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
IIRC the diver down flag is ONLY legally recognized in FL, but recognized by boaters almost universally. To be technically compliant outside of FL you have to fly the Alpha flag too. But, I've seen dive boats with both permanently afixed...in metal...both in and out of FL.
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Old 23-08-2015, 21:20   #11
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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But, I've seen dive boats with both permanently afixed...in metal...both in and out of FL.
One of my pet peeves, along with fishing vessels that permanently display their "engaged in fishing/trawling,etc" shapes and lights. And they wonder why some folks don't respect those symbols... Grrrr!

Jim
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Old 23-08-2015, 22:16   #12
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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One of my pet peeves, along with fishing vessels that permanently display their "engaged in fishing/trawling,etc" shapes and lights. And they wonder why some folks don't respect those symbols... Grrrr!

Jim


How are you folks finding New Caledonia, thinking of a visit myself.
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Old 23-08-2015, 23:27   #13
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

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How are you folks finding New Caledonia, thinking of a visit myself.
** thread drift **

We enjoy NC a lot.. been here a dozen times or so over the years andstill find new places to go.

But right now the truckies are on a rampage (or strike or whatever...) and blockading the towns... and the marina entrance as well.

In fact, I think I will start a thread about our recent escape from that trap!

So, have a look there for the details.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-08-2015, 23:54   #14
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Having lived in FL for seven years, I can tell you that every enforcement officer I ran into had their own interpretation of the diver down flag law. It's also one of their favorite ways to pop tourists for $150 or whatever it is now.
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Old 24-08-2015, 01:03   #15
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Re: Questions about diver down flag

Here's a good site: Dive Flag Law. But please don't depend on Wiki for legal questions. You could also call a dive shop in the state/country you're visiting. Anyway, the closer the flag is to the diver, the better; but having (another) one on the spreader is not a bad idea for boats that are farther away. Most of the people I know fly both international and US diver down flags. In cases with divers and boats, more is better, too.
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