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Old 21 August 2014, 17:10   #1
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Guess what this flag means?!

Just curious how many people recognise this flag and what it means to other water users?

Be interested to see who gives the best answer! No prizes I'm afraid.

Will explain more after a few replies!
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Old 21 August 2014, 17:13   #2
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I'm happy to play the game and give the obvious answer which you're about to tell me is wrong I'm sure

I've always thought that that, and a red saltire (if that makes sense!!) are flags indicating diving in process...ie keep well clear....
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Old 21 August 2014, 17:24   #3
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Okay - nothing else to do

International Marine Signal Flag A . -

Diver below (when stationary) - keep well clear at slow speed

I am undergoing a speed trial
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Old 21 August 2014, 17:24   #4
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It doesn't mean anything because nobody knows what the Alfa Flag means :P

Diver down flag is a boat attractant. I fly one when diving though.
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Old 21 August 2014, 17:53   #5
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From recent experience it means ' This boat is being helmed by a complete ass who will dump divers right on top of your fishing tackle with absolutely no regard for their safety'.

'Cee King' (a hard boat that looks very much like an angling charter boat from the bows) out of Plymouth motored up on the windward side of our drift while we were fishing Hands Deep, keeping his A-flag and passengers completely hidden.
He then turned broadside and started putting divers down right over the top of our fishing lines before we even had a chance to reel in, resulting in a 'sh*t, get your lines in' moment.
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Old 21 August 2014, 18:03   #6
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Well done. 100%.

Flag Alpha. Divers in the water, stay well clear. In the UK it should the the blue and white flag as I have posted, abroad its more commonly the red stripe flag.

It should always be treated as divers present regardless of how bizarre the circumstances or location* - keep well clear and very slow. Beware the divers may be nowhere near the boat / quay / pier / pontoon / slip where the flag is displayed. In commercial diving the diver might be 150m (or more) away from the flag right at the end of his umbilical, and in leisure diving the skipper might not be on the ball, or may be nervous of being too close to the diver 'just in case'.

*for example you may see a rib or hardboat traveling at speed out at sea flying the flag alpha, yes they may have forgotten to take it down, but also they may have more than 1 diver they are watching and the divers may have drifted apart - especially the case with scallop divers etc - in which case the skipper may be traveling quite fast back and forth between the divers marker buoys to keep tabs on both. Never make assumptions - always err on the side of caution!

I'm constantly amazed both in recreational and commercial diving how few people recognise this flag. We often have massive flags plus huge signs stating divers down, keep away in massive letters and the flags we use at work all have divers written in huge black letters on them too, yet so many people come tearing right up to us to ask sometime really stupid questions. Today we were diving very briefly in the harbour to check something and I had to politely inform several yachts what the flag meant. In the past I've even seen boats approach to ask what country we're from!

Sadly propellors always win over human flesh and bones.

Thanks for reading. Had to share this after today!
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Old 21 August 2014, 18:06   #7
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Nos4r2 - yeah of course there will always be numpties in any sport or pursuit. Its the nature of human beings. At least some of us can try to learn to do the right thing. I treat every day as a school day. It's a boring day when there is nothing left to learn
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Old 21 August 2014, 18:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver 1 View Post
Nos4r2 - yeah of course there will always be numpties in any sport or pursuit. Its the nature of human beings. At least some of us can try to learn to do the right thing. I treat every day as a school day. It's a boring day when there is nothing left to learn
It's bad when it's a commercial skipper doing it though. They're paid to know and be better than that.

And yes, every day is a school day
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Old 21 August 2014, 18:20   #9
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Agree entirely, bad etiquette if nothing else. 1st come 1st served on a wreck I reckon. If i get way out to a wreck I want to dive and other people are there diving / fishing / whatever I simply go elsewhere, plenty of wrecks to see all close together on the south coast at least. Failing that I wait for them to leave.

On the positive side of today's little dip I had no idea how many boat related things people throw off their boats. Certain inspection jobs are always rewarding in Poole where things naturally accumulate as they drift down the harbour, but today we found anchors, sunglasses, winch handles, you name it, we found it!
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Old 21 August 2014, 18:38   #10
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Here is mine.....
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