Dive Flag Regulations – Beware of Butthead boaters as season starts


While in Pepper park the other day, it was remarkable how many ASSHOLE boaters were not paying attention to dive flag rules just to show off their pretty boat!  Why not just park your boat on your trailer and park outside Wally World for the attention?

While diving, we had 3 different boats come within 50 feet.  One as close to 30 feet while we were diving.  We are diving with a dive flag within 20 feet of us and of legal dive flag size.  There were another 3 within 200 feet parked.  Just be careful while diving until the FWC, or whoever, cracks down on the idiots showing off at the beginning of season.

To review…

The size of diver-down flags displayed on vessels has been increased from 12″ X 12″ to 20″ X 24″ and requires a stiffener to keep the flag unfurled. Dive flags carried on floats may still be 12 inches by 12 inches.

Dive flags on vessels must be displayed so that visibility to the flag is not obstructed.

Flags are also required for beach entry divers.  State law requires that scuba divers or snorkelers display a flag whenever they are in the water.  The “diver down” flag is a square or rectangular red flag (if on boats, at least 20 inches by 24 inches; at least 12 inches by 12 inches on towed buoys) with a white diagonal stripe and with wire or other stiffener to hold it unfurled and extended.

Vessel operators must make reasonable efforts to maintain a distance of 100 feet from any divers-down flag while on a river, inlet, or navigation channel; divers must make a reasonable effort to stay within 300 feet of the divers-down flag on all waters other than rivers, inlets, or navigation channels; vessel operators must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of 300 feet from vessels displaying dive flags on these waters.

Divers shall attempt to stay within 100 feet of the divers-down flag on rivers, inlets and navigation channels.

Vessels may approach within 100 feet or 300 feet of a divers-down flag at idle speed.

“Buzzing” a dive flag has been added to the description of reckless operation of a vessel, which is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail.

Divers shall not, except in case of emergency, display the divers-down flag in an area which would constitute a navigational hazard.

Here is a video from FWC:

So do the divers have to police the boats or what?  let me know what you do when this situation arises for you?  We were at times in 10 feet on top of the reef and had a boat come any closer, there would not be a lot of room for us to hide.  I guess I do not understand why you would want to risk, banging up your boat on the bottom.

Hubby Rich has said, if he gets hit by a boater, they better knock him out, cuz otherwise he is climbing on the boat, pummeling the dickens out of the captain and slashing the crap out of the boat with his dive knife he always wears.  Gotta love him!

Boaters, beware of the red jeep and just go to another beach.  They don’t call him Mad Lynch for nothing.

 

So called FWC, they will patch you through to county it occurs.  hold time about 10 minutes then they gave us a number and told us to call when it happens.  hello, under water!  Anyway, local Martin county # 561-357-4200 when it occurs.  Perhaps FWC could look at conditions at when they are good for shore divers and snorkels, monitor more closely.  This was a state park.  Just a suggestions.  I know if I don’t have my license or dive flag, I would be fined in a heartbeat!

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About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
This entry was posted in Florida Diving, Technical tips, info, or other useful thoughts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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