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Shore dive question

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Lizard Leg, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisiana
    When shore diving with a group of people, say 4-8 people, 2-4 buddy groups - does each group need their own surface flag towed along, or if the group stays together, is one flag enough? Seems as if you are going to be separated then yes, each group needs one, but if staying within the 50’ circle of the surface flag, then having more than one is just asking for tangled lines. Have never done shore dives with a group before and was curious.
  2. macado

    macado PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Snowbirding in Cave Country (Florida)
    I would imagine this varies on local laws by state, area. Generally speaking, each group should have their own flag if they are diving separately.

    I generally prefer not to dive with a flag for reasons you stated above, entanglement hazards (multiple dive flags, lobster pots). It's usually not a big deal however.

    I dive with an SMB and spool which I deploy when I want to ascend or swim back to shore.
  3. t-mac

    t-mac BKK Divers

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: VA, USA
    The underlying premise is that the flag will actually deter boaters, rather than attract them to use it as a slolom marker, which may not be the case. Typically, the laws require boats to stay away a certain distance and so assuming they obey the law the closer together your group stays, the less you need and one flag may be sufficient accordinding to "the book." Obviously, this is a personal comfort/judgment call.
  4. Malpaso

    Malpaso Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: MA/CT
    In Massachusetts divers within 100' ($50 fine):

    Section 13A. Every scuba diver or group of scuba divers while swimming on or under the surface of the waters of the commonwealth shall display for each diver or group of divers as a warning device to boat operators, a diver’s flag, so called, constructed of rigidly supported material at least twelve inches by fifteen inches in area of red background with a white diagonal stripe. Such diver’s flag shall be displayed on a boat or surface float and shall extend a minimum distance of three feet from the surface of the water. Divers shall remain in an area within one hundred feet of such displayed diver’s flag while at or near the surface of the water. A boat operator within sight of a diver’s flag shall proceed with caution and within a radius of one hundred feet of such flag shall proceed at a speed not to exceed three miles per hour.
  5. cocoajoe

    cocoajoe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Canaveral Fla
    Just read up on Fla. law. 100' rivers, inlets and channels.
    300' for anything else. Wonder what they classify Blue Heron Bridge (Lake Worth Lagoon).....guessing 300'
  6. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisiana
    My question was more on the logistics and etiquette I guess – if you have 4 groups (8 divers) in the water, all staying within a 100’ or so of each other – I would prefer to have my own flag for me and my son, just seems as if an awful lot of tangling going on.
  7. Scuba_Noob

    Scuba_Noob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    I don't use a dive flag for shore dives. I just surface at shallow waters where there would never be boats, and I don't surface when I hear boats.
  8. FiremanIRFD

    FiremanIRFD Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Iron Ridge, Wisconsin, United States
    Every state is different, check your local laws.

    I have been in a group with about 8 people and 1 flag, if there were 4 flags and we were that close it would have been a real entanglement hazard

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