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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 07-05-2011
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Just a reminder:

After having been buzzed by more boats than I can recall, and having heard about many injuries (and fatalities) that resulted from diver-boat interactions, I am happy to see that more information is being presented to help prevent this.

I fly the 'Diver Down' flag:


As well as the Alpha flag:


when I dive off my boat. I still get many vessels (granted they're mostly powerboats or PWC's) driving right over me when I'm submerged.

Here is a PSA produced by DAN (Divers Alert Network) (I hope it get's widely distributed):
(click on link): Dive Flag Awareness Public Service Announcement
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Old 07-05-2011
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As a lifelong sailor, and more recently a recreational diver also, I second that emotion.

Please stay well clear (let's say 500 feet) of dive flags.

And at night, if you see a red-white-red vertical light combo, that boat can't maneuver out of your way. They may or may not be dive boats. So please 'go around'.

Some dive boats 'drift' over their divers-down, due to current that makes an anchored location impractical (like the reefs off S. Fla with the Gulf Stream current). So even though they're maneuverable, they can't leave their divers.

If for any reason (meaning navigational safety) you (and other passing boats) can't easily miss them, then radio the dive boat and tell them the situation so they can move if necessary. If you work with each other rather than just cussing out each other's location and sailing/powering away mad, you can make it work. Some of those divers or boat captains are sailors, they'll know what's up.

Here's a new Public Service Announcement on the topic:

YouTube - ‪Dive Flag Awareness Public Service Announcement‬‏

Last edited by nolatom; 07-05-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 07-05-2011
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Old 07-05-2011
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I hate to advertise my ignorance but...I know/have seen the diver down flag many times. What does the Alpha flag signify. And is it alway used in conjunction with diver down flag?
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Old 07-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCK View Post
I hate to advertise my ignorance but...I know/have seen the diver down flag many times. What does the Alpha flag signify. And is it alway used in conjunction with diver down flag?
The diver's flag with the red field and a white diagonal stripe is the amature's diver's flag. Used mainly in the USA.

The Alpha flag IS THE diver,s flag for every one. As in accordance with the International Code of Signals. Pub H.O. 102.

This pub is available on line for naught or you can get your own copy at any marine store like; West Marine or even here at sailnet.
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Old 07-05-2011
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One other detail: When the dive boat has divers down they are considered to be "Restricted in their Maneuverbility", Thus you have to go around them giving them the sea room necessary for the safety of their divers. That means that cutting close to them is a very big NO NO! You all do know the rule 18 from the Rules of the Road, Right?? That is the pecking order of who has right of way or the stand on vessel and who don't have that status.
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Old 07-05-2011
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The Alpha Flag signifies the vessel's restricted ability to maneuver, which is the case when launching or retrieving divers. The US diver down flag should be flown over the diver's themselves.
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Old 07-05-2011
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The Alpha Flag signifies the vessel's restricted ability to maneuver, which is the case when launching or retrieving divers. The US diver down flag should be flown over the diver's themselves.
A lot of dive vessel's divers are on tethers/ubinical lines/hoses... And the Alpha Flag is flown. Stay away. Especially here off of Louisiana & Texas. The divers are working and Their safety is of top concerns for those of us who work off shore and not using the Gulf as a playground.
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Old 07-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
A lot of dive vessel's divers are on tethers/ubinical lines/hoses... And the Alpha Flag is flown. Stay away. Especially here off of Louisiana & Texas. The divers are working and Their safety is of top concerns for those of us who work off shore and not using the Gulf as a playground.
I don't need to be convinced. I used to train divers when I was in my 20s.

In the US, the red/ wht strip is simply more recognized and this thread seemed to be recreationally based. I could be wrong.
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There is a push for recreational boaters to recognise the Alpha flag. Some of them are poorly trained in flag recognitions. And I'm being polite in saying that. Very polite.
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