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the blue and white alpha flag signifies what
There are 2 flags used on the earth to point that divers are within the water. What’s the distinction between the 2 and when ought to every be used?
The A flag or Alfa (alpha) flag has a transparent worldwide which means which means: “I’ve a diver down; maintain effectively clear at sluggish pace”
The pink and white diving flag is a standard sight in North America however will not be generally seen elsewhere. Its which means can be much less exact.
From the Canadian Secure Boating Course required by all energy boaters in Canada:
The worldwide diving flag (normally blue and white in color) have to be displayed by any vessel engaged in diving.
A pink and white flag carried on a buoy is used to mark areas the place diving is in progress, though divers might stray from the boundaries of the marked areas.
The Code of alerts Flag A is regulated underneath the Non-public Buoy Laws. When encountered the operator of a pleasure craft should maintain effectively clear at sluggish pace.
The Collision Laws Rule 27, made underneath the Canada Delivery Act specifies that:
The dive boat should carry a inflexible illustration of the worldwide code “A” flag not lower than 1 metre (39.25″) in top if the boat has divers down and can’t maneuver. Measures shall be taken to make sure all-round visibility.
At night time, the boat shall show three all-round lights in a vertical line, the best and lowest of which shall be pink and the center mild shall be white.
The pink and white diver down flag will not be acknowledged to be used on the boat. There is no such thing as a rule that forbids its use nevertheless.
A buoy could also be used if it meets the specs set out within the laws. The Canadian Aids to Navigation (TP 968) acknowledges the usage of the pink and white flag on a buoy.
and the Non-public Buoy Laws (SOR 99-335) present the specs for the buoy itself.
A diver’s buoy have to be:
White, with yellow retro-reflective striping, a minimal of 15.25cm (6″) throughout and 30.5cm (12″) above the water
bearing the letters “PRIV” on reverse sides in massive black lettering and displaying the proprietor’s title and make contact with data prominently.
It have to be flying the pink and white diver down flag, which have to be sq. and 50cm (20″) .
on both sides, with the white stripe extending diagonally from the tip of the hoist all the way down to the underside of the fly. The buoy have to be securely moored.
There is no such thing as a regulation saying how far a ship should keep away, OR how shut a diver should keep close to the flag/buoy/boat.
The Secure Boating Information issued by Transport Canada recommends boat operators maintain clear 100m (328′) from a diving flag/buoy
In follow, one is extra more likely to see a pink and white flag than a blue and white flag for pleasure scuba divers in Canada and the US the place it’s widely known.
Picture By Soljaguar (Personal work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html),
The US Department of Homeland Security special notice to mariners
ALPHA FLAG FOR RESTRICTED MANEUVERABILITY (Due to Diving Operations)
There has been some confusion over the status of the traditional sports divers’ flag because of a change to the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules concerning the use of a one meter rigid replica of the International Code Flag
Alpha (a blue and white flag).
The Alpha flag is to be flown on small vessels engaged in diving operations whenever these vessels are restricted in their ability to maneuver if divers are attached to the vessel.
But in sports diving, where divers are usually free swimming, the Alpha flag does not have to be shown and the Coast Guard encourages the continued use of the traditional sports diver flag.
The distinction the Coast Guard wants to make clear is:
The Alpha flag is a navigational signal intended to protect the vessel from collision. The sports diver flag is an unofficial signal that, through custom, has come to be used to protect the diver in the water.
It is the responsibility of the operator of a diving vessel to determine if his craft’s movements are restricted. To be most effective, the sports diver flag should be exhibited on a float in the water to mark the approximate location of the diver. NOTE: I have modified paragraph breaks and bold for emphasis. cd
The Red and White diver down flag has another meaning
The diver down flag has been adopted by dive supply shops and other suppliers as a sign that diving services or supplies are provided by the shop. It is flown on land with no diver in the water for that purpose.
History of the diver down flag.
designed and introduced in 1956 by Navy veteran Denzel James Dockery. After making a home made scuba gear he found he needed a way of keeping curious boaters away and designed the red and white divers down flag. For a history of the design here is a link to dive-flag.com article.
The bottom line is a bit confused.
The intent is not. Keeping boats and divers safe.
So in North America where the red and white diving flag is recognized (and often required) it should be displayed prominently by all sports divers.
Putting up the Alfa flag as well does no harm at all but will probably not be recognized by all boaters..
Elsewhere in the world the International Alfa flag
is widely recognized and should be flown, it is usually the law to do so anyway. Adding the red and white flag does no harm and is not usually prohibited.
If you are diving in a country where you are not familiar with the custom and law, ask a local dive shop. If in doubt fly both flags.
Commercial divers and deep sea divers with air hoses will display the alfa flag not only to warn of divers below but also to warn other vessels that the ship has restricted movements due to divers attached to air lines.