Message from discussion Power Boat Strikes 2 Divers Off Catalina Island (California),
From: kenkur...@aol.com (Ken Kurtis)
Subject: Re: Power Boat Strikes 2 Divers Off Catalina Island (California),
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
(RE: Diver's flags)
Well, it took me quite a while to find it and I don't know what legal weight it
would carry, but I got some guidelines from the U.S. Power Squadrons. (Couldn't
get it to cut-and-paste.)
The upshot is that they clearly discuss both the alpha (blue/white) and diver
down flag (red w/white stripe). They advise boaters to "stay well clear" of a
vessel displaying the alpha flag. It also mentions that when seeing a diver
down flag, it only indicates the approximate position of the diver and advises
that divers can sometimes stray far from the flag. However, there is no mention
of how far "well clear" would prudently be.
You can read it all for yourself at their website (www.usps.org). Then scroll
down to "International Maritime Signal Flags . . . and Their Meanings."
I couldn't find anything in the USCG or Auxilliary on-line stuff.
I assume (but don't know for a fact) that the Mr. C, the charter dive boat in
the vicinity of where the two free-divers were hit, was flying both the alpha
and the diver down flags.
NAUI Instructor #5936
Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.