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Lake Pleasant Conditions II

Discussion in 'Southwestern Region' started by Charles R, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. booth22

    booth22 Instructor, Scuba

    There are always a small amount of boats/jet skis/etc. who know what the flags are and just don't care. But, the majority really don't know- or don't know what a prudent distance is. We've had friends who have boats say they thought it was 100ft., some thought the buoy was for divers to surface next to, and being the area was ok, etc. etc. They were innocent mistakes and all have been happy to hear the info and be more attentive.

    Maybe a little shot from a Dive Alert will solve the problem- anytime some one comes too close, let the Dive Alert blast a few times. Then you once you have their attention you can alert the boater of what the issue is. If that doesn't get the MSCO's attention, all the phone calls the the noise from everybody else nearby will. Then you can politely explain what all the commotion is about. I may have to try this next time we're up there.
  2. scubajcf

    scubajcf Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Arizona
    Good advice Kris.
  3. PhxSki

    PhxSki Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Peoria, Arizona
    Here's a throught.

    When you pay the daily fee at the entrance gate, they give you a date and time stamped receipt (i.e. a sheet of paper). I have noted that the reverse side of the document usually includes an advertisement from a local merchant. Placing information regarding the diver down flags on the back of the receipt would ensure that literally everyone entering the park has the information at his or her disposal.

    There would of course be a cost associated with this however, I suspect that it may be reasonable. Certainly worth alittle research.

    Just a thought.

    P.S. Hey Steve, have a great time in San Carlos!
  4. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    Here's how the Lake Pleasant receipt thing works. You must come up with a design that will fit half that page and submit it to the park for approval. Once you receive approval, you take your design and the rest of the printed information on the receipt to a local printer. Print up 5000 receipts - 2500 sheets, double sided on 5 different colors paper. Have the paper cut in half to create the 5000 receipts and drop it off at the gate.

    Call around to local print shops and see how much they will charge. The cheapest I was able to find when I was there and considering advertising this way was about $500. It's probably more than that now. The issue with this is those receipts are only handed out on the county side. You still have boaters that enter on the other side and would never get this information.
  5. PhxSki

    PhxSki Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Peoria, Arizona
    Sorry, it was just a thought. Yikes!
  6. RAWalker

    RAWalker Divemaster

    If law enforcement at the lake is so busy that they can not address this issue maybe if a number of us volenteer as a type of lakeside sheriffs possi they would offer us the ability to enforce boating and diving issues. I'm sure that if we offer free help they would be willing to offer the training and certification that would allow for such a program. Besides making the lake safer for everyone, it may end up being another revenue producer for the lake.
    As for restricting where we can dive I'm fairly sure we as a group could keep that from happening by using both legal and political means. Legally both we and the boaters have the same rights to use the lake. But a arguement can be made against boaters that they both endanger the public and polute the environment. This gives us a upper leg in any public use arguement regardless of the numbers on each side.
    Because we do not harm the environment the way boats, RVs, dirtbikers and such do there is little gov't can do to restrict us while they give access to the public for activities that are destructive and dangerous to the environment and others.

    If we sit and take a passive approach to this problem at some time we may end up being lambs at the slaughter.
    Remember the sole purpose of gov't is to protect the little guy from the masses.
    We can and should make the gov't and existing laws work for us.

    One last point, we are not looking for any special rules or considerations! What we are insisting on is the enforcement of existing boating regulations pertaining to safety flags. These regulations go beyond simple local gov't issues but have their basis in federal and international maritime law.

    DESERT EEL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Az
    I think ( and that's my first mistake ) we as divers post our own Big signs stating the Law . Make it fun , make it simple . We can hang it on our Ez Ups . They get the point and we get the safey and the shade.
  8. Rudebob

    Rudebob Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Phoenix, Arizona
    You have to be realistic and look beyond your 20 acre dive site. Lake Pleasant is a big lake with serious safely issues-especially on weekends. You can talk education and enforcement all you want but despite all the ad campaigns and public awareness, alcohol and boating continue to exist and still be a huge problem. The majority of fatalities that occur are a result of alcohol, speed and stupidity. I have yet to hear about a single diver killed or injured at Pleasant due to a dive flag violation. The LEO’s don’t have the time to cruise around the lake looking to find out where the divers might be just so they can enforce a vague dive flag requirement. They don’t even have enough presence to enforce the current laws being regularily broken than have provento produce injuries/fatalities.

    IMO any campaign to demand greater safety in this regard will only hurt divers in the long term. Currently, we have more access to dive than probably any other users out there. Several areas of the lake are already closed to boaters, fisherman and even more areas to skiers. Divers can pretty much dive wherever they can get to with exception of a few private or closed areas. If divers are successful in convincing the bureaucrats that there is a serious safety problem requiring law enforcement action, it is more realistic to presume they will reduce or completely eliminate access to divers so they have one less problem to worry about. We are not enough numerically to matter. Honestly, up to this point I have been surprised that they have not already limited diving to a single area.

    We need to remember that the lake access for diving is not a right. The lake is controlled by the Maricopa Water District. They have no other obligation but to manage the water supply, primarily for irrigation. The west side of the lake is managed by the county parks dept. (incidentally, the county park side is actually privately owned but leased to the county on a long term basis). The county can provide or limit access to whoever they want when operating in the public’s interest. They don’t owe us a dive site and they can sure take it away if they determine that it is not a safe activity that can be adequately managed.

    Finally, the five flag requirement as I read it in the revised statue is ambiguous. Other than requiring one it does not indicate specific safety distances for divers or boaters alike. ARS Title 5, Chapter 5, Article 6, 5-362 says "A red flag with white diagonal stripe from staffhead to opposite corner shall be recognized as a diver flag and shall be displayed when a person or persons are actually diving below the water surface and are equipped with apparatus to allow such person or persons to breathe under water." The Arizona Boaters Guide" (AZ game and fish) goes a little further to suggest that boats stay 100 yards from a dive flag, however, they do not mandate any distance.

    Based on this language, enforcement is almost impossible unless the LEO can site reckless endangerment, which is a whole different rule section. Furthermore, the language of the statute applies the only burden for compliance on the diver. This in itself is another reason to avoid calling attention to enforcement. Because the way I read it the only act of compliance that I can see as enforceable is that the diver has one. That opens up a whole can of worms in interpretation about how many divers to a flag, how far can you dive from your flag, etc?

    I feel that we have a good situation that is reasonably innocuous if we use common sense in our site selection and practice safe diving techniques and navigation. To invite more regulatory awareness to our activity can only put our sport it at risk in my opinion.

  9. Rudebob

    Rudebob Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Phoenix, Arizona
    One other thought now that we have completely digressed in this thread. Maybe it is time to start a new "Lake Pleasant Conditions - 2008" thread. This one is getting tired.

  10. ScubaSteve2000

    ScubaSteve2000 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks. I'm excited about my first ocean dive.

    Maybe we can see if the local dive shops will split the cost of a flyer between them.


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