Your guide to the red flag with white diagonal strip (diver down flag)

If you’re a scuba diver, then you’ve probably seen the red scuba diving flag with the white stripe. But what does it mean? What is it used for? In this blog post, we will answer all of your questions about the scuba diving flag.

scuba dive flag

What does a diver down flag look like?

The red diver down flag is usually a square or rectangular-shaped flag with a white stripe running horizontally across the center of it. This symbol is an internationally-recognized sign for divers underwater. On buoys in the open water, it may also indicate a natural habitat, where boats shouldn’t set anchor.

What does the diver down flag mean?

The red diver down flag is the international sign for divers in the water. When you see a diver down the flag, that means there are scuba divers below swimming around, diving on the sea floor, or even just below the surface.

What should I do when I see a dive flag?

If you’re boating or sailing near a dive flag, you must slow down and travel at a slow speed. Despite this, it is highly probable that the divers are not in close proximity to their flag. Therefore, it’s important to stay at least 150 feet away from the dive flag. This will give divers plenty of space to work and keep them safe while they are underwater.

Red flag with white diagonal stripe

The scuba diving flag is used to indicate that there are divers in and around the area. It is usually placed on a dive boat or other structure near a dive spot. When the flag is raised, it serves as an alert to boaters and jet skiers that there are divers below. The white stripe signifies the presence of a diver below the surface.

Another great use for the scuba diving flag is for navigational purposes. This is especially helpful if you’re diving in an unfamiliar body of water, where markers may not be visible from above the surface. By displaying a scuba diving flag, other boats will know your location and can avoid disturbing your dive site.

Where does the diver down flag come from?

Denzel James Dockery, a United States Navy veteran, crafted this flag in 1956 and Ted Nixon of US Divers was the one responsible for its widespread popularity over subsequent years.

red flag with white diagonal strip

What do scuba divers need to know about the flag?

Every commercial and recreational scuba team should be sure to bring along the “diver down flag,” which is a necessary piece of equipment legally required for divers in the United States, Canada, and some European nations while they are underwater. Despite this regulation, it’s highly likely that their diving group has strayed beyond view from where their flag is displayed. To ensure compliance with regulations as well as safety protocols, all dive teams need to carry and display a diver down flag at any time when diving.

Scuba divers are encouraged to stay within a radius of 300 feet (90 meters) from their dive flag or stationary buoy in the open sea. The suggested distance is lessened by one hundred feet (thirty meters) for waterways such as rivers, inland bays, and channels. Moreover, it’s recommended that scuba diving groups always aim to surface within 45 meters (150 feet) of their dive flags if feasible.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out in the sport of scuba diving, it’s important to be familiar with this internationally recognized symbol. Be sure to keep an eye out for dive flags when you’re on or near the water, and remember to give divers the space they need.

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