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It's That Time Of Year Again. Idiot Boaters Don't Know What A Dive Flag Is

Discussion in 'Florida' started by Scuba_Jenny, May 14, 2016.

  1. Shotmaster

    Shotmaster Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Melbourne, Fl
    Yes they can. Jet skis included. I have seen people with large yachts 60-70 ft that can't run them. Hang out at a marina or your local launch ramp. Walmart people have boats too!
  2. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
  3. Scuba_Jenny

    Scuba_Jenny The Lorax for the Blue Heron Bridge ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    I had a friend years ago who had an inflatable kayak. used to go out all the time off shore. Problem was boaters saw the empty kayak (with flag!) and assume it was abandoned and tried to take it.. meanwhile he was attached to it 30ft below!

    To the best of my knowledge if you got the $$, you can own/drive a boat. No license or knowledge required..
    Story goes that some guy who never owned/drived a boat before bought a new one at the Miami Boat show. Took it out upon payment that day and promptly crashed it when trying to dock. Didn't know it didn't have brakes..
    Trigger-F likes this.
  4. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    My favorite is when some of these boat owners forget to take off the tie down straps that secure the boat to the trailer. They have a 2 wheel drive and when they back the boat into the water the boat and float which will pull the back wheels of the truck off the ground and they won't have any traction. Then they are stranded and can't take their foot off the brake or the truck will get pulled into the water. Some of them aren't smart enough to know this and just roll right into the water. Sometimes the lanch ramp is slick and the front tires just slide down the ramp and both truck and trailer end up in the water. There are hundreds of Youtube videos of this. It's hilarious!!
    At least there is one less potential idiot out there buzzing our dive flags.
  5. mikeb21072

    mikeb21072 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland

    The sailing course was ASA sponsored course, I checked the book I got with the course and it has one page about flags and a couple sentences about a dive flag, including the international flag, and how far to stat away. We spent a lot more time discussing charts and no sail zones due to the navy prescence in the Chesapeake, along with the naval academy in Annapolis. Dive flags, not a concern.

    Unfortunately, the dive community is looking out for other divers, most weekend boaters are clueless.

    I do not dive locally, but I feel sorry for anyone diving in the Chesapeake, too much boat and commercial traffic, plus the cold brackish water.

  6. socialist77

    socialist77 Angel Fish

    Don't believe this is right, at least for those born after 1987. According to FWC:

    I was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, and want to operate a boat in Florida. Do I need a license?

    In order to operate a motorboat of ten (10) horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC.

    Boating Safety Education FAQs

    There's a free course at boatus.org but I took this years ago and can't recall what, if anything, is in there about regulations concerning diver down flags. See:

    Florida State Boating Course
    Scuba_Jenny likes this.
  7. Rob Phillips

    Rob Phillips Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South Florida
    That's odd. Is 1988 some arbitrary product of new legislation - or is it being under/ over the age of around 28 that instigates the safety course requirement?

    Man, I just realized you could have been born in 1988 and be 28 years old! I like, remember 1988 and stuff ... Feeling old...
    Scuba_Jenny likes this.
  8. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    Hmmm... hopefully one could get the hull number. Then there's a whole bevy of defenses available that could be very convincing - and motivating - to the boater to be more careful and respectful of divers.
    How 'bout this one, once you've tracked 'em down. "Hey bud, How's about letting me treat you to a free 'try SCUBA' experience. Bet you'd like it :)"
  9. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    In Alabama one must have a "V" (Vessel) endorsement on their driver's license. When they first passed the law, folks my age (I think born before 1950) were grandfathered in & automatically got the endorsement, as we'd been driving boats for years (perhaps the FL law is new & 1988 is the "grandfathered in" date) Now one must pass a test & pay a fee, or take a certified course & pay the fee.
    Here's an oddity... a non-resident 14 or older can operate a vessel in Alabama up to 45 days a year without any license at all! Weird, eh?
  10. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    Good idea! I've got a printer, laminator, and a whole bunch of ink, paper, and empty 8.5x11 lamination sheets... off to work!

    Hmm on second thought.. I'd really like to find one that's more specific to florida; perhaps listing the statute. I got the bright idea to look it up and make my own. I was REALLY disappointed when I came to the penalties for driving over a dive flag.

    It's a "noncriminal infraction"
    1. For a first offense, $50.
    2. For a second offense occurring within 12 months after a prior conviction, $250.
    3. For a third offense occurring within 36 months after a prior conviction, $500.
    4. For a fourth or subsequent offense occurring within 72 months after a prior conviction, $1,000.

    No wonder they don't care. Even if they do know, it's just $50. Pocket change for most boat owners.
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    Scuba_Jenny likes this.

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