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Old 12 February 2010, 08:23   #1
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Divers Down

Was taking a cruise along a well known haunt at almost full bung a couple of years back .. which involved a long sweep round a large bay .. about to set my exit course to avoid shallow areas of 4m or so half way along and noticed some sort of service vessel about 30' long in the distance ahead just off the shore and proceeded to go tighter on my turn out to give it a wide berth and keep well clear.. noticed a geezer waving from the deck .. more than just an acknowledgement and suddenly thought possibly divers in area so ..even tighter lock to keep even further clear, and headed straight out of the bay instead, at reduced speed... As it happens, the area that the vessel was in, and a large area around it is shallow, and not really navigable at any speed anyway, but I wondered, shouldn't they have a boat standing off to act as an outer marker if they have guys down ? or is there some other convention to state the purpose of the vessel if it has divers on it ? and is there a convention that restricts the distance a diver can go from the support vessel ?

I've never seen this vessel before, or in this location, which is not known for diving in this area either, and it seemed too easy for the un intiated to stumble across a situation at high speed without realising what was going on. Because it was quite far off, any visible notification would be less effective due to the distance I'd imagine, but whats the general view ?
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Old 12 February 2010, 08:28   #2
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Ideally there should be a boat standing off as you say, in addition it should be flying a flag with a diagonal cross on, to indicate divers in the water.

In any event, the divers should either surface up their boats line, or if that's not possible, if the boat isn't anchored, they should send up a marker buoy, from depth, and then come up that line.

Surfacing in open water, at a non designated dive site, where there is boat traffic is tantamount to suicide IMHO
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Old 12 February 2010, 08:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.mccrirrick View Post
Ideally there should be a boat standing off as you say, in addition it should be flying a flag with a diagonal cross on, to indicate divers in the water.
Errr NO the convention is to fly the International "A" Flag coloured White ( Near the Staff) and Blue outer edge the Blue side is in a "V" shape check out international Flags and there meaning !!
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Old 12 February 2010, 08:43   #4
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Oops sorry, you are right, I think I was having a senior moment there, or my descriptive powers failed completely, especially as I have the flag, for diving

Thanks for the correction
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Old 12 February 2010, 08:49   #5
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Here you go, for completeness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diver_down_flag

This can be used as well, which I poorly described
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Old 12 February 2010, 08:51   #6
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Here's the one ashbypower references
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Old 12 February 2010, 15:56   #7
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The red version is the North american version which would not be recognised as a dive flag by many folk in Europe.
In saying that I have had folk motor across to ask me what the blue and white flag means and mine is a large ship sized version which about a third the length of the RIB
There is no "distance" from the support vessel that is laid down but generally a support boat would be either moored in the area of operations or try to stay between passing traffic and the diving area, intercepting other traffic as required.
All other vessels are required to give any vessel flying a dive flag, which should only be flown when divers are actually down, a wide berth.
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Old 12 February 2010, 17:41   #8
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If he was that bothered about immunity from other craft, he should as was said above displayed the A alpha flag .and even then perhaps a larger board with a painted Aflag ,problem with flags is ,they only show,, side on to the wind direction so it can be easy to not spot one straight away, ,. if they were using commercial surface supplyed air to the divers or they had no other boat cover for s.c,u.b.a divers they should maybe have put out a navigation warning on v.h.f. .....opposite problems go for diving boats that seem to think its ok to permanently display the A flag when they are not acually diving but perhaps fishing or intransit to the dive site .then they wonder why other boats take no notice when they are actually diving ....oh and its not good practise to dive in a busy or dedicated channel or inshore shipping lane ,
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Old 12 February 2010, 17:46   #9
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I think this thread started by describing a professional diving operation. However the most forceful example I know of keeping other vessels away from divers in the water concerns sport divers and a local (to me) hardboat charter skipper, known for his clear thinking.
With divers in the water, and the 'A' flag clearly displayed, Roger rammed a passing yacht who would not take the hint when he placed his boat between said yacht and the divers.
Sadly Roger has now retired, and no-one I know of has taken up the task of torpedo impressions
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Old 12 February 2010, 17:54   #10
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soz duplicate ,
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