USCG required day shapes and lights relate TO THE BOAT AND ITS MANEUVERABILITY

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Posted by Andy S on September 11, 2007 at 22:51:04:

In Reply to: Lights shown by boats for night diving? posted by Frank O on September 11, 2007 at 11:03:09:

USCG required day shapes and lights relate TO THE BOAT AND ITS MANEUVERABILITY, not if there are “divers in the water”.

“The Navigation Rules require vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver to display appropriate day shapes or lights. To meet this requirement, if your vessel is engaged in diving activities during the day, then it must exhibit a rigid replica of the international code flag "Alpha" not less than 3.3 feet/ 1 meter in height. If the diving activities are at night, then your vessel must display the navigation lights shown in Figure 11. This requirement does not affect the use of a red and white divers flag, which may be required by State or local law to mark a diver's location. The "A" flag is a navigation signal indicating your vessel's restricted maneuverability and does not pertain to the diver.”

Thus, if you are at anchor, then you should have the correct day mark/lights for being at anchor. If you are not at anchor but restricted in your ability to maneuver (e.g. have divers on hooka rigs as in urchin diving, have divers nearby that may need pick up etc) such that you are restricted in your ability to maneuver (but not a anchor), then you should have the proper Alpha Flag/Red-White-Red light.

Of course, try telling this to your local Harbor Patrol, Park Ranger or Sheriff who wants you to fly a red/white divers down flag (this indicates divers in the water and does NOT indicate the status of the vessel). And by the way, try flying a 3.3 foot high flag on a boat less that 30 feet sometime. To cover our bets, we fly both flags and the only danger is they tend to attract boaters like flys…

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