Ontario Flag Laws

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ScubaSteve

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After the incident involving Rob Murphy, I decided to try to find out what the actual law stated about dive flags here in ontario. This is the exact email from the government which I received in response to my request:

Hi Stephen:

There are many emails to respond, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Reference to the requirement for a vessels engaged in diving operations is found in the Collision Regulations, Rule 27 (e)
(e) Whenever the size of a vessel engaged in diving operations makes it impracticable to exhibit all lights and shapes prescribed in paragraph (d) of this Rule, the following shall be exhibited:
(i) three all-round lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white,

(ii) a rigid replica of the International Code flag Ţ not less than one metre in height. Measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility.


In provinces where the Contravention Act is in place, authorities can ticket offenders on the spot for offences such as careless operation. Boaters could also be charged with dangerous operation under the Criminal Code (Section 249) in more serious situtations where someone may have been injured for example.

Section 15 of the Vessel Operations Restriction Regulations is as follows:

[SOR/2008-120, err., Vol. 142, No. 10]



15. (1) A person who operates a vessel shall do so in a safe manner and

(a) shall take into account any circumstances that could pose a danger to the vessel or to other vessels; and

(b) shall avoid endangering the safety of persons involved in any activity in any waters.




Also, Section 43 of the Small Vessel Regulations is as follows:



Prohibition against Careless Operation

43. No person shall operate a small vessel in a careless manner, without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons.

SOR/99-54, s. 11; SOR/2000-311, s. 12.




Should you require further information, feel free to give me a call.



Acting Manager/Gestionnaire intñÓimaire
Operator Competency Program/Programme de la compñÕence des conducteurs
Marine Safety/SñÄurit maritime
Transport Canada/Place de Ville, Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0N5
Government of Canada/Gouvernement du Canada
Telephone/TñÍñÑhone: 613-xxx-xxxx
Facsimile/TñÍñÄopieur: 613-xxx-xxxx
E-mail/Courrier ñÍectronique: hidden





This does not say everything as far as I am concerned however it looks like it may be better than in other areas. As for what is on the boater's exam, I could only come up with this:


Diving Buoy​
it is used to mark an area where scuba or other such diving activity is in progress
it is coloured white and it carries a red flag not less than 50 centimetres square
with a white diagonal stripe extending from the tip of the hoist to the bottom of the fly
if it carries a light the light shall be yellow and flash once every 4 seconds
Particular care must be taken when boating in waters where there are divers. A vessel engaged in diving
must display a blue and white flag (International Code A Flag, see left). A red and white flag carried on a
buoy is used to mark areas where diving is in progress, although divers may stray from the boundaries of
the marked areas.
Be sure you know what the ÁÅiver down flags look like. If you see either flag, keep well clear of the vessel and diving site, and move at slow​
speed.

This is taken from page 46 from this PDF file http://www.boaterexam.com/canada/education/pdf/StudyGuide.pdf

I am not sure if perhaps there is another exam or not, but this is terrible as far as I am concerned.
 

aquaoren

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There are no Ontario Flag laws for divers.
Vessels that engage in diving activities have to fly a flag that informs other vessels about their reduced maneuverability. Flag to be used (Alpha) is determined by international conventions.

May I ask what are you trying to do or get to?
 

ScubaSteve

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I was curious what the laws were for boaters and what the penalties were. This is what I came up with and thought it might interest others (apparently not you). I have seen many boaters travel quickly past dive flags within as little as 10 feet where I do much of my diving in Wiarton; and on many occasions.

I never said the law applied to the diver. Just sharing information.
 

aquaoren

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Apparently, without even knowing me, you have already determined what is and what is not of any interest to me.
No further comments are required in this regard.
 

simcoediver

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Steve, thank you for sharing your information,I think the dive flag laws in Ontario really do suck and I was hoping that the Aviva Barth project would have helped but this has now been kind of put aside.
I did my part last year and the year before by laminating and posting some Aviva Barth posters at my local marinas and sometimes they would get torn down and I would have to repost them.
Unless we all get together and put in a massive effort to educate boaters and jetskiers about dive flags then things will always remain the same.
I wish we had the large numbers of divers like they have in Florida, were they are now making some headway on organizing this.Perhaps we can too? Mac on O.D.
 

roastbeef

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Most divers try there best to do what is correct and make boaters aware they are at depth but the boating community is simply ignorant. The safe boating card another joke across Canada doesn't even have a dive flag question in its exams nor explained if you take a class session. In the early days there were a few public ramp sites in Ontario that had government installed education signs up explaining to boaters that the area is frequent by divers and to use caution when you see this flag floating in the water, those days are gone no one wants to be responsible.
 

shoredivr

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madpenguin

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The Aviva Barth Memorial Project is still alive and well, and always looking for sponsors and volunteers to spread the word. It's discouraging to hear that some posted signs have been vandalized and/or removed. We're trying to keep track of where signs were posted, so it would be helpful if we also received reports of signs being removed when this is noticed.

Unfortunately ABMP is not being promoted as well as it could be on the OUC website, something I'd like to have rectified.

For $100 sponsors can get either a sign to post with 20 floating key fobs to help spread awareness, or four signs. Signage includes the sponsor's names/logo. The signs are laminated and mounted on aluminum plates to be mounted at marinas and boat ramps (preferably ones close to areas the sponsor themselves use) to remind boaters of the community expectations around dive flags.

Like any other group, boaters have their share of special individuals. In fact at the Outdoor Adventure Show this weekend we encountered a gentleman who was very enthusiastic in his view that divers had no place in the water.

Transport Canada was at the show as well, and helpful in placing fliers for the ABMP as they always are. This is one of those things where 50 years of contentious history won't be overcome quickly or easily, but with consistent and constant effort it can be done!

Scott Holmes
Director of Sport Safety
Ontario Underwater Council
 
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simcoediver

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Well, I will do my part again this year by posting the Aviva Barth laminated signs at the 2 marinas close to me. I have to ask the marina owners permission and that has never been a problem. This will cover the 2 marinas at Jacksons Point, and Sutton area of Lake Simcoe. Hope others do the same for other ramps around Lake Simcoe, especially the Barrie marina,Big Bay point area, and others.
It would be great to have a couple of Aviva Barth posters near every single ramp in Ontario, individual divers and dive clubs need to pitch in and do more to help educate boaters about this deadly problem.
 

madpenguin

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That's great Simcoediver, thanks for your help!

I should take the opportunity to clarify myself. The ABMP signs we're providing are quality prints on plastic that's UV resistant and I'm told guaranteed not to fade for at least 5 years. They're adhesive backed, and we simply apply the plastic to sheet metal to make a very durable sign that can be screwed/bolted permanently to something. Sponsors can have their names and other information listed in a box on the sign, or have their logo added.

We'd love to see dive clubs, shops and ideally organizations associated with boating sponsoring the placement of ABMP signage. I feel the message may carry more weight if it's perceived as coming at least partly from within the boating community.

Help to spread the word and find sponsors!

I'll also mention that members of Aviva's family were at OUC's 50th anniversary event in November and were extremely touched that the community was holding her name up and that her tragic death could help spark some change.

Scott Holmes
Director of Sport Safety
Ontario Underwater Council
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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