There room 2 flags offered in the people to indicate that divers space in the water. What is the difference in between the two and also when need to each be used?


The A flag or Alfa (alpha) flag has actually a clean international definition meaning: "I have a diver down; keep well clean at slow-moving speed"


The red and white diving flag is a usual sight in phibìc America however is not commonly seen elsewhere. Its an interpretation is additionally less precise.

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From the Canadian safe Boating Course required by all strength boaters in Canada:

The worldwide diving flag (usually blue and also white in colour) must be shown by any type of vessel involved in diving. A red and white flag brought on a buoy is provided to mark areas where diving is in progress, although divers may stray indigenous the boundaries of the marked areas. The password of signals Flag A is regulation under the exclusive Buoy Regulations. Once encountered the operator that a pleasure craft need to keep fine clear at slow-moving speed.

The Collision Regulations dominion 27, do under the Canada Shipping Act mentions that:

The dive boat must carry a rigid representation of the worldwide code "A" flag not much less than 1 metre (39.25") in elevation if the watercraft has divers down and cannot maneuver. Steps shall be taken to ensure all-round visibility.

At night, the boat shall screen three all-round lamp in a vertical line, the highest and also lowest of i beg your pardon shall it is in red and the middle light shall it is in white. The red and white diver down flag is not known for use on the boat. Over there is no rule that forbids its usage however.

A buoy might be provided if the meets the specifications set out in the regulations. The Canadian Aids to navigation (TP 968) recognizes the usage of the red and also white flag top top a buoy, and also the private Buoy regulations (SOR 99-335) provide the specifications because that the buoy itself.

A diver"s buoy have to be:

White, with yellow retro-reflective striping, a minimum of 15.25cm (6") across and 30.5cm (12") over the water, bearing the letter "PRIV" ~ above opposite political parties in large black lettering and also displaying the owner"s name and contact information prominently. It must be flying the red and white diver under flag, which have to be square and 50cm (20") on every side, through the white stripe prolonging diagonally indigenous the pointer of the hoist down to the bottom that the fly. The buoy should be securely moored.

There is no regulation speak how much a boat must remain away, OR exactly how close a diver must stay close to the flag/buoy/boat. The for sure Boating overview issued by transfer Canada recommends watercraft operators keep clear 100m (328") native a diving flag/buoy


In practice, one is an ext likely to check out a red and white flag 보다 a blue and also white flag for pleasure scuba divers in Canada and the united state where that is widely recognized.

Photo through Soljaguar (Own work)


Commercial divers scuba and also otherwise will certainly usually have the international blue and white flag displayed. The advertising divers might or might not have the red and white flag displayed in addition to the global Dive Flag.

Photo by Marco Busdraghi (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

EIGHTH shore GUARD DISTICTSPECIAL an alert TO MARINERSGULF the MEXICO00-2008 file is quoted below and also addresses the flag issue.

The us Department the Homeland protection special an alert to mariners

The connect is to a pdf document. The following paragraph is on page 23.

ALPHA FLAG FOR minimal MANEUVERABILITY (Due to Diving Operations)

There has actually been some confusion end the status of the timeless sports divers" flag since of a change to theU.S. Inland navigating Rules concerning the usage of a one meter rigid replica that the worldwide Code FlagAlpha (a blue and also white flag). The Alpha flag is to it is in flown on small vessels involved in diving operations whenever this vessels are minimal in their ability to practice if divers space attached come the vessel. But in sports diving, wherein divers room usually free swimming, the Alpha flag go not need to be shown and the shore Guard urges the ongoing use that the traditional sports diver flag. The difference the CoastGuard wants to make clear is: The Alpha flag is a navigational signal to plan to safeguard the courage fromcollision. The sporting activities diver flag is an unofficial signal that, through custom, has pertained to be used to protect thediver in the water. that is the obligation of the operator that a diving vessel to recognize if his craft"smovements room restricted. Come be many effective, the sports diver flag have to be exhibited on a rise in thewater to note the approximate location of the diver. NOTE: I have modified paragraph breaks and bold because that emphasis. Cd

The Red and also White diver down flag has one more meaning

The diver down flag has actually been embraced by dive it is provided shops and other carriers as a authorize that diving services or supplies are provided by the shop. That is flown on land with no diver in the water for the purpose.

History of the diver under flag.

designed and also introduced in 1956 by navy veteran Denzel James Dockery. ~ making a home made scuba equipment he found he necessary a way of keeping curious boaters away and designed the red and also white divers under flag. For a background of the architecture here is a attach to article.

The bottom line is a little bit confused. The intent is not. Maintaining boats and divers safe. Therefore in north America wherein the red and white diving flag is well-known (and frequently required) it have to be shown prominently through all sports divers. Placing up the Alfa flag also does no injury at all however will most likely not be well-known by all boaters..

Elsewhere in the civilization the international Alfa flag is extensively recognized and also should it is in flown, it is generally the legislation to perform so anyway. Adding the red and white flag go no harm and is not typically prohibited. If you room diving in a country where you room not acquainted with the custom and also law, asking a neighborhood dive shop. If in doubt paris both flags.

Commercial divers and also deep sea divers v air hoses will display screen the alfa flag not just to warn of divers listed below but also to warn other vessels that the ship has minimal movements because of divers attached come air lines.

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This web page is no intended to change legal advice. This details is for basic knowledge. I make mistakes. Laws and also regulations change. Ns think ns am current however this could readjust tomorrow. Usage your head and do her research. Have fun too.