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Do you ever dive WITHOUT a flag?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by jsado, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. jsado

    jsado Guest

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: upstate NY
    Ok, I guess we DON'T need a flag when we dive........ interesting
  2. Scott M

    Scott M Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Upstate NY - Lake Champlain
    We always dive with a flag up here. I don't know the fine but it is the law and we have to have a flag on the dive boat if we are using one also. I think it's a good idea to have a flag even if for no other reason than a flag pole comes in handy when we catch the boat that got to close to beat the driver with. No finger prints that way.

    In all seriousness we have found there are few that even know what a dive flag is or to stay away but it does deter some and if it stops even one from getting to close that could have been the one that hits you. We have a lot of traffic on this lake so it would not be prudent to dive with out one.
  3. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    Most of my shore dives are without a flag.

    That's because I've dove the sites before and know that I'll make it back to shore without surfacing, and/or the site has very little boat traffic.

    I ALWAYS carry a DSMB with 30' of line for cases where I might have to surface prematurely. It also works as a surface signalling tube.

    In your case, it sounds like there was both a lot of boat traffic and you were doing a dive where there was a good possibility of having to surface somewhere other than next to your boat or the shoreline.

    Like most things in life, there is a risk/reward ratio. The reward is not having the hassle of towing a flag. The risk is getting hit by a boat (and also the much less critical risk of getting fined for failure to comply with the state law on dive flags).

    A DSMB -- DELAYED surface marker buoy --- that you inflate and send to the surface before surfacing is another option. Virtually zero hassle to carry along, yet still gives you some protection from getting run over by boats.

    Charlie Allen
  4. scstjohn

    scstjohn Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Lake Tahoe
    Its a State Law here. A freind recently had a flag on his anchored boat, but Fish and Game still fined him $190 because he wasn't 'carrying' the flag on a reel.
  5. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    Which state, Nevada or California?

    Nevada Dive Flags
    California Dive Flags
    Perhaps the problem wasn't that the flag was on the boat, but that he was more than 100' from the flag.
  6. RJP

    RJP Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    I don't usually have one with me, but the boat does!

  7. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    i never dive with a dive flag and sometimes you do hear boat traffic so its heads down and wait. problem also is that the weekend warriors dont always recognize what a dive flag is and ive seen boat drive right over the top of them also (last time was in a marine reserve boat exclusion zone!)

    if i have to surface, once in the middle of a shipping channel, i do carry a smb and reel and actually quite enjoy sending it up (i dont get to do it often)

    cheers and happy learning
  8. bill-da-ho

    bill-da-ho Guest

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Upper Michigan
    Yep, I agree, most people wont even know what the flag is for or what to do with it, as in stay 50 feet away. we havent dove without one yet, but then I never thought of the DSMB, thats whats gonna happen as soon as I can get back to the LDS and get one.
  9. Gregordo

    Gregordo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Stone Mountain Georgia
    I always dive with a flag. Even if no one else on the water knows what it is, I would have a big fine to pay if I forgot it.
  10. Nemrod

    Nemrod Contributor

    I see no point in a flag in water that does not have boats, that is the whole purpose.

    I dive without towing a flag around my boat, it has the flag on it, so I don't tow one. If I am shore diving in water with boats I tow a flag unless there are special hazards to towing a flag. For the most part a flag does no good as to boats and jet skies, it attracts them.

    As to holding a fin up on your arm as you surface, a black fin is not likely to be seen and an arms length depth is just right for the my lower unit and prop to strike you.

    All in all a flag is a very good idea most of the time.


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