Dive Flag Awareness

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Dive Flag Awareness
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The arrival of spring in Canada means that power boats and water sports will soon grace the waterways. Not every powerboat owner goes scuba diving, and this article will remind them of the above rules when the boat driver sees a dive flag in the water.

About the Diver Down Flag

A diver down flag, also known as a scuba flag, is a flag used on the water to indicate the presence of a diver below. There are two types of flags in use. Internationally, the white and blue code flag alfa/alpha is used to indicate that the vessel has a diver down and that other vessels should keep well clear at slow speed. In North America, it is typically red with a white stripe running from the upper left to the lower right corner.

The purpose of the flags is to notify to any boats to steer clear for the safety of the diver and to avert the possibility of a collision with the dive boat which may be unable to maneuver out of the way.

Today, the red and white flag is so closely associated with scuba diving in North America that it is also used to indicate a location where divers can get services, such as stores selling or renting diving equipment or scuba service stations. It can be seen on the windows or bumpers of various vehicles.

When discussing boat safety, one aspect is frequently overlooked. Boat propeller safety is something that every boater should be aware of. Propeller accidents account for 18% of all boating fatalities.

What if you’re hit by a boat propeller? When a swimmer, snorkeler or diver or passengers overboard collide with a propeller, the consequences are severe. Lacerations to the flesh are unavoidable. There is a risk of death due to immediate trauma. Similarly, blood loss or infection are possibilities.

Boat owners should be considerate of others on/under the water, and it is especially important to follow the Dive Flag rules. Safety on the water = safety is not an accident.



About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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