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I hope this isnt repetitive but there are too many threads to search through. I gave up looking.
Specific to Florida, if you dive off a boat is it law that someone has to stay on the boat to watch it? This makes perfect senes if at anchor but tied to a mooring ball, not so much. And I would only leave boat unattended if i tied it (with a main line and a back up) to a ball.
I've heard conflicting from divers that yes, someone has to be on the boat. Yet the research I've seen only makes mention about flying a dive flag.
I'm not talking about a yacht here. Just off a 16 foot RIB fairly close to shore.
While it’s not specifically a law for a non-commercial vessel to have someone onboard at all times it would be indefensibly negligent if your boat where to drift off and cause an accident or injure someone else. Additionally, it’s just not a good idea in general. Every year we have a few folks that lose their boats during the lobster mini-season. Usually they get picked up within minutes by someone else. No, this is not the South Pacific where you could drift for weeks without being seen by another boat, however we do have high boat traffic here and that means you are more likely to get run over by another negligent boater who was not looking out for you.
People will chime in and say they “do it all the time” and that is no big deal … however they are rolling the dice every time they leave a vessel unattended and possibly adrift. Just because they have cheated the Grim Reaper for years and gotten away with it does not mean it’s a good idea.
A simpler plan for a small RHIB may be hoist your dive flag and then hop in with a reel tied off to the boat and allow it to drift with you. This is how many kayakers do it.
Wow. Wet Dog, maybe i'm misunderstanding but I'd think letting the boat drift with me (tied to a reel) is way more risky than leaving it secured to a mooring ball. I'm talking about a 16 ft. RIB, 55hp OB, 20 Gal fuel, fresh water, and various boating gear....thats a lot of weight to tow around.
I have the lines off my 27ft boat on my 16 RIB so they are more than secure. Plus, I mentioned a back up line. So, im not worried about it breaking free.
I was moreso checking to see if it was legal.
I'm an honest dude, if somthing unfortunate happens (knocking on wood) I will post it and you are free to say...."i told you so".
While it’s not specifically a law for a non-commercial vessel to have someone onboard at all times it would be indefensibly negligent if your boat where to drift off and cause an accident or injure someone else.
Generally good advice, but: Sailboats do it all the time... but we don't hear many stories of sailboats drifting off and causing accidents.