Lights shown by boats for night diving?

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Posted by Frank O on September 11, 2007 at 11:03:09:

I was curious if any of the commercial boat captains or some of the more observant divers might have any comment on this ...

It looks to me as though the nav rules say that a boat with divers in the water at night should show a vertical string of red, white and red lights in place of the dive flag you'd use during the daytime. Among small boaters there's some spirited debate on whether this requirement really applies to them. I don't know of anyone with a small private boat who shows lights like this at night. However, when I was in Hawaii recently, all of the commercial boats that were out for the manta dives did have a mast with these lights. I asked the owner of one boat where he got it, and he said it was a custom job.

So my question is, do the commercial boats in Southern California use these lights? When I've been out for a night dive on one in the past, I've usually been too busy gearing up to look at what lights the boat is showing. If I was going to make up a set of these for my boat, I'd have to special-order the red all-around lights (not commonly used on small boats), but it'd be doable.

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