Do you ever dive WITHOUT a flag?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Scott M

Contributor
Messages
894
Reaction score
2
Location
Upstate NY - Lake Champlain
# of dives
100 - 199
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.
 

Charlie99

Contributor
Messages
7,966
Reaction score
163
Location
Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
# of dives
500 - 999
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.

jsado said:
We begin the dive, drop down to about 40ft and start circling the island. Swimming into a stiff current and sticking close to the wall. Here enters the problem. At 40ft the wall goes off in one direction and the island wall turns into 20ft and goes in another direction. We missed that turn. The water starts getting shallower. We start hearing MAJOR boat traffic. Boats start zipping along over our heads...........
.........
The other side of the island is known as the "main channel". There is ALL KINDS of heavy boat traffic there....700ft steel freighters go through there 15 times a day.

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
 

scstjohn

Registered
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Lake Tahoe
# of dives
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.
 

Charlie99

Contributor
Messages
7,966
Reaction score
163
Location
Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
# of dives
500 - 999
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.
Which state, Nevada or California?

Nevada Dive Flags
Attached to a float, buoy or boat which is visible to approaching vessels and which, between sunset and sunrise, has a light attached; .
and c) Prominently displayed within 100 feet of the location of the diver or swimmer.

California Dive Flags
...Nothing in this section will require the carriage of a divers flag for any purpose. ...

Perhaps the problem wasn't that the flag was on the boat, but that he was more than 100' from the flag.
 

RJP

Contributor
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
6,067
Location
New Jersey
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I don't usually have one with me, but the boat does!

:D
 

almitywife

Vegemite Mod
Messages
17,134
Reaction score
124
Location
Sydney, Australia
# of dives
I just don't log dives
I found out later he had a safety sausage tucked away in his bc pocket..... I don't have one, but now I think I should
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
 

bill-da-ho

Guest
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Location
Upper Michigan
# of dives
0 - 24
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.
 

Gregordo

Contributor
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Location
Stone Mountain Georgia
# of dives
50 - 99
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.
 

Nemrod

Contributor
Messages
12,212
Reaction score
2,446
Location
Dixie/High Plains
For the dive team of course we do not use a flag but, for recreational diving around here it is the law with the exception of a few private mudholes we dive as there is no boats there.

I believe the fine for diving without a diveflag is $80.00 around here.

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.

N
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom