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View Full Version : Dive Flag or Not???



snagel
01-13-2008, 06:53
We are taught to float a dive flag when divers are in the water. This is a requirement if not a law in most if not all waters. The purpose of the flag is to warn other boaters that a diver is down and not to get too close. But, there is a lot of debate that dive flags do nothing more than attract boaters and should I mention the jet ski's that seem to like to use the dive flags as turn around points or to practice their driving skills.

I'm interested in hearing others thoughts on this debate and if they tend to use a dive flag or not use one and why.

I for one like to have a dive flag out. It is the law where I dive unless it is a quarry. But, I have seen on more than one occassion a boater drive right up to the flag to see what it is. I don't think most know what it is. If they do, they don't see what it is until they are so close to it and then they hit the throttle and fly away. I've actually heard of stories where boaters have picked them up with divers attached to them (which is crazy to be attached to one).

This is an old debate and from talking to many people I find people tend to have strong feelings for this subject. What's yours?

S. Nagel

jafo123
01-13-2008, 07:18
I have and will still use the divers down flag. The only time I haven't was during a night dive and we were the only ones out on the lake. Even if you did use a flag at night I doubt if any one would see it anyhow.

mitchy
01-13-2008, 07:30
For he most part they can only help. The diver still has to be vigilant for stupid boaters.

Tom A
01-13-2008, 07:51
if a boater gets with in 300 fet its ticket for them

FOUNDATIONER
01-13-2008, 07:56
I always use the flag for all the reason's stated here. But I
never, never attach it to myself or hold it.

awap
01-13-2008, 08:16
I don't use a flag unless required by law. They are a PITA and attract more boaters than they repel. If I can get away with it (and meet the letter of the law) I try to anchor my flag close to the entry/exit point so we don't have to tow it around. I carry and shoot a DSMB if we chose to surface well away from the flag in a boat traffic area.

snagel
01-13-2008, 08:25
if a boater gets with in 300 fet its ticket for them

Has anybody ever seen somebody get a ticket for this? I've seen a boat drive within 20' of a dive flag with the water patrol watching and nothing. I was on shore waiving my hands and pointing and the water patrol guy just looked at me as if I was crazy.

I know you can't use one incidence to say it never/always happens. But, never seen it enforced.


S. Nagel

cummings66
01-13-2008, 08:46
I've never seen it enforced, and I have seen dozens of boaters coming up to them. In fact, last year I saw a diver from another boat hop on a jetski and run over to our boat which still had divers down and ask how the diving was. I guess he thought since he was a diver it was ok to come up to the dive flag.

I use a flag when it's required and not otherwise.

snagel
01-13-2008, 09:11
In fact, last year I saw a diver from another boat hop on a jetski and run over to our boat which still had divers down and ask how the diving was. I guess he thought since he was a diver it was ok to come up to the dive flag.

I guess you just shake your head and move on!

I've tried to look at this from others point of views. I'm sure if you talk to a fisherman he/she would say that the lake is their for them - they should have the "right of way". And, how dare a scuba diver come in and take up position in my favorite cove and tell me I can't be in there. If they want to dive, dive, but I'm going to fish and nobody can tell me any different. Or, the boater and jetskier who believes they are just out having fun and the whole lake is there for their use. Divers cannot just pick a spot and say I can't be there.

This leads to one of my favorite sayings, "We always know what we should have done after somebody is killed". (I'm a safety director for a manufacturing company; hence, the saying)

S. Nagel

texdiveguy
01-13-2008, 10:04
We use diver down flags.

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 11:28
if a boater gets with in 300 fet its ticket for them

Has anybody ever seen somebody get a ticket for this? I've seen a boat drive within 20' of a dive flag with the water patrol watching and nothing. I was on shore waiving my hands and pointing and the water patrol guy just looked at me as if I was crazy.

I know you can't use one incidence to say it never/always happens. But, never seen it enforced.


S. Nagel
I have only seen that happen in Mobile bay, in the channel, where they ticket divers without flags and any boat that gets too close, except for the officers (who are at least on jet ski's and going very slow).

I have seen it in Panama City and Destin, for divers not having one, but not for boats going too close... but I would expect that they do.

scubajane
01-13-2008, 13:36
i always use a dive flag when at the lake. I have used it as a dragging marker when we were diving at the Yough dam. boaters can be totally unaware of what a dive flag is, and then they get close to see what it is. You just have to be careful and be safe. don't expect everyone to know what you know. we certainly don't know what they are thinking. :)

whse56
01-13-2008, 14:04
I always use a flag and try not to dive in lakes that are extremely busy.

terrillja
01-13-2008, 14:30
I always have a dive flag, and prefer the ones that say diver below or similar on them, they seem to keep people away. I use a DR safety reel for my flag, and I have a rubber band attached to a d-ring that I snap the boltsnap to. That way, if someone grabs the flag or gets it fouled in their prop or whatever, the rubber band will break free, then I just have to go chase my flag down.

fisheater
01-13-2008, 14:34
It's been my experience that most (especially lake) boaters are (a) untrained and (b) inebriated.

I don't trust them one bit!

Kingpatzer
01-13-2008, 15:59
I've seen our local sheriff's office enforce it both ways. Giving citations to divers who did not have one displayed, and giving a ticket to a boater who drove over a flag.