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Al Jones
posted : August 24, 2006 Post subject: skimmers v divers
Hi everyone

New user to this forum, ex-Royal Navy Ships diver, just got back into it.

I am a member of a boating forum and they have been talking about 'bublle heads'

http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1142039/page/0/fpart/all/vc/1/nt/2

A good debate about safety.

Good forum this, I'll be back.

Happy bubbles to you all !

AJ

 
Al Jones
posted : August 24, 2006 Post subject: skimmers v divers

Here is a discution going on about divers on another forum, take the time to read it, it's intresting.

Now I really don't want to cause any offence here as I sail as well as dive but recently I have been out on several dive boats and there are a lot of sailors out there who don't know or just don't care that a blue/white A-flag means there are divers in the water. The sea is a big place, is it really that difficult to give other water users a bit of space? I know its great when you're healed over and right on the wind but the col regs don't just consist of 'Here I come and I'm sailing!'.

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142042 - 23/08/2006 22:28 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



It would help if dive boats actually used flags that conformed to regulations, not some limp 3cm square faded thing impossible to see at any distance.

Out of hundreds of dive boats, I can only recall a few that actually flew regulation flags

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Jeep
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Reged: 29/09/2003
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142049 - 23/08/2006 22:34 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



I agree, but the flag has to be proportional to the boat and yes they're not always easy to spot because of wind direction. The boat I was on today had two and it took much waving, shouting and horn blasting to warn off the only boat for several miles. Maybe he was below making a cup of tea.

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142058 - 23/08/2006 22:42 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



You do understand col regs on flying divers flags don't you? and that the flag should not be under a metre in height, should be rigid, and that 'measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility'.

If dive boats actually understood the regs and flew such flags, there would be few problems

Rule 27 (e) ii
(e) Whenever the size of a vessel engaged in diving operations makes it impracticable to exhibit all lights and shapes prescribed in paragraph (d) of this Rule, the following shall be exhibited:

i) three all-round lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white;
ii) a rigid replica of the International Code flag "A" not less than 1 metre in height. Measures shall be taken to ensure its all-round visibility.

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bedouin
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Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142063 - 23/08/2006 22:43 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree, but the flag has to be proportional to the boat and yes they're not always easy to spot because of wind direction. The boat I was on today had two and it took much waving, shouting and horn blasting to warn off the only boat for several miles. Maybe he was below making a cup of tea.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


IIRC the requirement is not a flag, but a "rigid replica of the flag at least 1 m tall". I can't honestly say I've ever seen a boat displaying one

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: bedouin]
#1142066 - 23/08/2006 22:44 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Problem is that none of the dive boats know the regs, or if they do, they totally ignore them. Then scream blue murder when people can't tell they are a dive boat

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wooslehunter
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Loc: Hants, UK Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142074 - 23/08/2006 23:00 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



A sailor and a diver has complained quite politely that some boat owners don't seem to respect A flags. Well' he's right. As another sailor and diver I know.

This is reality and most dive boat skippers do understand the col regs. On a 5.5m rib it is not practical to comply with the regs as stated above. However because an A flag is not rigid and only 0.5m doesn't meen it can be ignored. Where practical, the dive boats do carry a rigid A flag of the prescribed size. They rarely carry the lights since most diving takes place during the day and in fact the lights simply meen a vessel restricted in its ability to manouvre.

If you see an A flag you must keep clear. If you hit a diver then you won't get very far in court if all you can rely on is that "the flag was the wrong size so we ignored it".

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Jeep
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Re: A-Flags [Re: wooslehunter]
#1142081 - 23/08/2006 23:06 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Thankyou wooslehunter. 'Restricted in its ability to manouver' is also a bit of a misnomer if you're following a marker buoy (or several).

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: wooslehunter]
#1142083 - 23/08/2006 23:07 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Try going around the southern coast. Most flags are floppy and about 6 to 12 inches, and unless there is a breeze, they flop down around the pole and are near enough invisible.

The regs state that the 1m rigid is for vessels not large enough to carry proper shapes, so makes no recognition that it might be impracticable. If a dive boat want's to be able to protect it's divers, it should carry something clearly visible, which quite clearly most dive boats don't

Also, just visit a few dive forums, and you'd be amazed how many dive boats don't know the colregs or the requirement for a 1m rigid.

I do keep clear, in fact I keep clear of dive floats as well, particularly round Portland where dive boats commonly 'lose' their sheep, and have driven up and pointed out lost ones more than a few times, as said dive boats don't seem to monitor vhf on any commonly used channels

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Jeep
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142085 - 23/08/2006 23:11 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Don't worry Brendan, you've well and truly put me in my place. Bye.

Edited by Jeep (23/08/2006 23:12)

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142091 - 23/08/2006 23:16 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



That's it? You are not going to defend yourself and say at least you knew the regs and the boats you were on were compliant? That your A flags on the several diveboats you've been on recently have taken steps to make sure the A flag is visible?

If you are going to post on the subject, I'd at least know I'm talking to someone that understands the issues of rounding headlands like Portland when there can be many boats in the area, and I'd like to know which boats to avoid, and where the divers might be, and most people don't understand that little sausage buoys are actually more important to avoid as it means the diver is right underneath, and the dive boats should be over them, not 300m away and lost

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: wooslehunter]
#1142102 - 23/08/2006 23:25 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Jeep and Wooslehunter

I agree with you, hoping not to sound like Uncle Albert, but when I was in the Navy I was a ships diver and I can state that when out in the Zodie there wasn't room for anything but the 'Token' rag.

A point I find surprising is that why do people moan and groan about us bubble heads being in their way, when nine times out of ten we're going to be diving on a wreck or fishing around rocks etc:

I too sail, more than I do dive now, but I have a 7.9m RhIB set up as a dive boat with all the toys, that has a bloody big wooden A-flag that is on a spinning pole attatched to my samson post up fwd. A standby diver ready to go and others with dive gear on, and we still get MOBO and Raggies venturing too near.

The A-flag is not taken notice of, so how about flying Code Romeo-Yankie as well? Do you reckon that would be heeded?

Thoughts

Al Jones.

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142107 - 23/08/2006 23:31 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



On south coast between Portland Bill and Poole, you'll find dive boats right on inshore passageways, and the flags are so small as to be useless from less than 50 feet. That's the issue.
I'm very aware of avoiding them, yet still can't spot them from a distance, even though I like to give all stationary boats a decent amount of room where possible

However, as I've said, far more worrying, particularly around Portland Bill, is the fact that the dive boats are no where near the divers and their personal floats.

If the rigid 1m is unpracticable, why are the dive associations not doing something about it, and in the meantime educating the dive boat owners to present something that can be seen from a reasonable distance?

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PilotWolf
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Loc: Currently based in Sussex. Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142111 - 23/08/2006 23:34 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Well as my posts are often controversial I ll agree with Brendan... having worked in the Solent and now along the south coast the attempts at displaying the A flag are a joke.

I m afraid that dive boat skippers don't exactly have much respect from other 'professionals' including (I believe) the MCA so rightly or wrongly they should be putting 110% effort into being $hit hot at what they do... I mean I don't know of any other type of skipper who can lose a 'passenger' one day and be at sea the next day because (I quote) - " ...got to earn a living mate, not my fault if they don't know what they re doing. I just take 'em out."

PW.

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Fireball
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Loc: Chichester Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142112 - 23/08/2006 23:35 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Part the problem is that is is very difficult to see the dive boat - let alone any flag/board they may be flying - even from 1 mile away. And then the divers have to trust that other water users understand the signal - most posting on here will - others certainly will not.

How far is keep clear though? Is 0.5Nm enough? or can it be closer? At what point does the diver start getting concerned? Does it differ between saily boats with sodding great keels to Brendans powerboat that hardly comes in contact with the water?

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142121 - 23/08/2006 23:42 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Hi Brendan

Your spot on, Portland can be a nightmare.

As you do, if I see something not moving in the water, I can't help puting a watch on it. Are they in trouble, Is it a dive boat, all these things are common sence as I know you know, but we are all aware, there are some numbnuts out there.

Here's one for all the buding engineers out there, remember where you heard it first.

A large helium filled reuseable metalic balloon attatched to the boat which will hover above the dive vessel, the shape could be like a rain catching radar reflector and each section showing the A-Flag. Being metalic would this be Radar reflective? I don't know.

I've proberbly just done my self out of some wonga now!!!!

Remember where you heard it first guys, I here by state that this is my invention and require 10p for every one thats ever sold!!

Do you think that may work as a paitent?

Thought not.

Al Jones

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Fireball
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Loc: Chichester Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142124 - 23/08/2006 23:43 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



No - but I'm sure my neices would like one.... how much?

--------------------
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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142127 - 23/08/2006 23:47 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Good idea, and would certainly help, though in anything other than a light breeze, a balloon of that sort would be very near the surface of the water very quickly. Great idea in low winds though, and any ideas like this would certainly help

Maybe post on some of the dive forums with this, and ask for other ideas, anything that promotes knowledge can't do anything but help, even if it gets a bit heated at times. I've been near to driving over divers round Portland, and the response from the dive boat has been lackadaisical to say the least, which is why I get so heated on this topic, and luckily I'm aware and looking for them unlike many others. One day there will be a nasty accident, and the boat helm will be blamed.


Come to think of it, if the divers personal surface floats were helium filled and floated 3' above water surface, that would also help!

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SolarNeil
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Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142132 - 23/08/2006 23:52 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



They use the metallic balloons on the long nets off Italy.

You do get some reflection from them. It certainly helped me find the end of those monsters so I could go around.

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142133 - 23/08/2006 23:53 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Old school, 80% common sense, 20% knowledge!!

Next time they get to be in your way, stop, give them some scotch brite and tell 'em to get a scrubbin'.


i think your right, it is going to take a nasty accident before things are taken notice of.

We're not having a dig at other user's of the ogin, friendly advice is all!!

AJ

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142139 - 24/08/2006 00:00 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next time they get to be in your way, stop, give them some scotch brite and tell 'em to get a scrubbin'.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dry berthed, so hull is spotless for top speed, unless hapless divers away from dive boat are in the water.

The Portland divers, when not drift diving along in the tides there, could pop up now and then and scrub a few bottoms, it would go a long way to fostering understanding between the two camps.

They'd need a big floating Gatso camera to get the whizzy boats to slow down first tho!

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142148 - 24/08/2006 00:07 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



PS

If you want to get some debate going on some of the dive sites, feel free to post them this thread, and ask them to contribute

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: SolarNeil]
#1142157 - 24/08/2006 00:18 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




How many balloon's, at ten pence a piece?

AJ

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142158 - 24/08/2006 00:20 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




I would love to however, I'm a new ish forumite, and a bit green so I wouldn't have a clue how to go about it.

AJ

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142160 - 24/08/2006 00:22 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



take this link, and post it on any dive site in UK you know about

http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1142039/page/0/fpart/all/vc/1/nt/2

and tell them we'd encourage a lively debate amongst informed people who care

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142161 - 24/08/2006 00:25 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Will do!

I'm off to find some, back in a mo.

AJ

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chuckaduck
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Loc: Isleworth London UK Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142167 - 24/08/2006 00:33 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



seem to remember a couple of our german cousins getting into trouble recently while diving 1 mile or so from shore and getting into trouble no flags etc

but will say knowledge of colregs or not it is prudent to stay away from boat magnets ie flags bouys etc

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AlJones
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Loc: Vessels at Haslar Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142173 - 24/08/2006 00:44 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply





Mission completed!

ukdiving.co.uk

Lets wait and see!

AJ

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: AlJones]
#1142175 - 24/08/2006 00:50 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



I suspect the diving forum community is quite fragmented, so we'd have to talk to many of them to make any impact, and less than 10% in any forum are likely to read any one message, so quite a task ahead?

Good start tho! Even hitting a couple of % of diving community can only help

We had some PWC members on here aa while back, and some US guys, and cross fertilisation of ideas was helpful to those that read the posts.

Not everyone will read every post, so don't expect miracles. just a good start.

Hands up everyone that's read this thread so far?

or, in other words, very few will read this thread?

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Ships_Cat
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142180 - 24/08/2006 01:13 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Another country I know but peeps have talked about handling the flag situation in small boats and how far away they should be visible from so following may be of interest (although it seems some forumites get upset about anything others do ). This is how it goes here in NZ.

First the ColRegs are amended as follows -

a rigid replica of the International Code flag "A" of ó
(i) not less than one metre in height; or
(ii) in the case of a New Zealand ship of less than six metres in
length operating in New Zealand waters, not less than 0.6
metres in height, with measures taken to ensure its all-round visibility.

Then in the Navigation Safety Rules is -

Every person diving from a vessel must ensure that flag A is displayed in such
a manner that it can be clearly identified by the watchkeeper of another vessel
at a distance in excess of 200 metres.

They also then go on to say that the master of the vessel is also responsible for the same so both the divers themselves and the master are responsible for the visibility of the flag.

It is important to note that the only small vessels entitled to fly a smaller flag than 1m height is one that is registered or entitled to be registered in NZ (generally means more than half owned by a NZ citizen) so a foreign visiting yacht with diving from its tender is strictly speaking not entitled to the smaller flag - but I am sure it would not be policed if they did.

John

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: Ships_Cat]
#1142183 - 24/08/2006 01:21 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



My perspective is that anything that works is fine

I suspect that in reality, your regs are as worthless as ours, as no one adheres to them, and in meantime, very few other than divers understand personal bouys or what they really mean

and that many go past Portland one or twice a year, rather than treating it as a day out, which explains a great deal

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Ships_Cat
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142194 - 24/08/2006 02:21 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Alot of diving here is done hard close inshore over rocks as many good places have deep water right to shore well away from shore access and the boat is used for that access. Those ones often show no easily seen flag at all but they are well out of the way of other traffic and really no different to as if they were diving from shore - in any event, any such anchored boat I treat as diving or fishing and keep clear.

But once they get away from against the rocks I believe would be right to say that flags are usually shown although it would be common for boats larger than 6m to just show the 600mm one. Actually, I don't recall ever coming across the situation where I have unexpectedly come across divers within the 200m visibility requirement of the other rule though (possibly partly because, as I said, I regard any boat anchored outside of a day or overnight anchorage as either fishing or diving and keep clear in any event).

I could not comment on Hauraki Gulf area though as bin decades since I have boated there.

I also get the impression from the forums that boating, diving and fishing here is more of a pragmatic lifelong passtime than may be common in UK (for example, no one here would get all enthusiastic about catching a mackeral as many forumites seem to - well Ships Cat might but would probably prefer something of much higher food quality and abundance ).

John

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BrendanS
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Loc: Me: Berks. Boat: Lymington Re: A-Flags [Re: Ships_Cat]
#1142195 - 24/08/2006 02:36 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



living where you do, this may all become a pragmatic exercise. NZ is a bit different to the most congested parts of UK?

Not so here, where you can can go past 30 dive vessels in half a mile, none showing any signs, and many divers down, but that is their problem I hope, and they will solve the A flag thing, if we help them understand the issues.

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southace
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142203 - 24/08/2006 05:00 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



I just steer clear of all boats under anchor with a flag or not. Even last week when some big stink boat decided to drop anchor 500mtrs right on my bow while I was tracking 4knots really didnít take much to hit the pilot button and clear him by 500mtrs on the port.

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Ships_Cat
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Re: A-Flags [Re: BrendanS]
#1142205 - 24/08/2006 05:29 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



NZ is a bit different to the most congested parts of UK?

Not sure what the relationship is between greater congestion and reduced frequency at which divers are inclined to show A flags.

Would have thought if anything, with yer unique level of congestion, the opposite would apply as is more chance of getting run down?

John

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Talbot
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Loc: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK Re: A-Flags [Re: wooslehunter]
#1142246 - 24/08/2006 08:27 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a 5.5m rib it is not practical to comply with the regs as stated above. However because an A flag is not rigid and only 0.5m doesn't meen it can be ignored.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It is still practical on a 5.5m rib to have a rigid A flago f this dimension, we used to have one on a gemini dinghy which is much smaller.

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Gandy_Goose
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Loc: Aberdeenshire Re: A-Flags [Re: Ships_Cat]
#1142255 - 24/08/2006 08:33 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Those smaller flags sound plenty big enough for smaller boats. What do they actually do to "to ensure its all-round visibility"?

I don't think I've ever seen a dive boat which does more that either fly a real flag, or have a single rigid replica aligned fore and aft.

--------------------
Tony S

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BrianR
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Loc: Poole, Dorset. UK Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142326 - 24/08/2006 09:41 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



It's not just dive boats that suffer. Why don't people give a wide berth when it's possible?
It always amazes me that I can be fishing in Poole Bay and so many seem to use me as a waypoint and come within a few feet, when they've got the whole of the Bay/English Channel to play in.

--------------------
Brian
Mysite

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SimonT
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Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142345 - 24/08/2006 09:57 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree, but the flag has to be proportional to the boat and yes they're not always easy to spot because of wind direction. The boat I was on today had two and it took much waving, shouting and horn blasting to warn off the only boat for several miles. Maybe he was below making a cup of tea.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



As an A-flag on a dive boat has to be 3 foot by 5 foot and made of Rigid plastic, I don't think that's an excuse - unless you were using an illegally small flag and then complaining about someone else breaching Colregs.

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Fireball
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Loc: Chichester Re: A-Flags [Re: SimonT]
#1142379 - 24/08/2006 10:21 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Come on - a 3' by 5' flag on a small rib is still not that noticeable from a distance ...
A stationary small powerboat could quite easily be fishing, having a break, broken down or be a dive boat, so if the boat is wanting us to keep further away than normal it needs to be quickly and easily distinguishable from a distance. The helium balloon idea would be ideal if it wasn't impractical ... but how about a 20' mast with a sign on top? Or just string up a spare diver upside down.

I did ask earlier, but no response - how far should we be aiming to keep clear by?

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It takes two to lie, one to lie and one to listen - Homer Simpson

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Talbot
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Reged: 23/08/2003
Posts: 8914
Loc: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK Re: A-Flags [Re: Fireball]
#1142395 - 24/08/2006 10:32 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
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did ask earlier, but no response - how far should we be aiming to keep clear by?


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200 yds is a good distance if possible. 100 yds absolute minimum and keeping a very good lookout for suddenly appearing marker buoys/heads etc

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"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein


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Fireball
regular


Reged: 15/11/2004
Posts: 2950
Loc: Chichester Re: A-Flags [Re: Talbot]
#1142434 - 24/08/2006 10:55 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



So - we need to be able to clearly distinguish a dive boat by 200yds - or ~180meters, 580 feet, 0.1 miles or 0.8 cables. (to young to work in yards you see! ) in order to keep clear.

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It takes two to lie, one to lie and one to listen - Homer Simpson

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bbg
regular


Reged: 02/05/2005
Posts: 353
Loc: Switzerland Re: A-Flags [Re: Gandy_Goose]
#1142451 - 24/08/2006 11:04 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
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What do they actually do to "to ensure its all-round visibility"?


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One boat that I dive from regularly in the south of France (St Mandrier, if anyone is interested) uses two aluminium A flags set at right angles to each other, mounted on an ali pole. When we anchor to dive it goes on the cabin top, when all divers are out it comes down.

Not sure that it measures the full 1 m and perhaps not practical on a RIB - but there must be other solutions.

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bbg

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Andrew_Fanner
regular


Reged: 13/03/2002
Posts: 2524
Loc: Hampshire Re: A-Flags [Re: bbg]
#1142614 - 24/08/2006 12:54 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Must admit I have never looked carefully but where would one buy a rigid 1m across Alpha? It would be pretty big so I guess would be obvious if swindleries did them but as I said, never really looked.

I have a vast one at home, fell off a warship or summat, its been a beadspread in its life. I suppose it ought to be on the boat in case I ever need to dive underneath, but it would make a passable cover for the tender:-)

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Two beers please, my friend is paying.

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rb_stretch
regular


Reged: 01/04/2003
Posts: 429
Loc: Home-Surrey, Boat-Gosport Re: A-Flags [Re: Jeep]
#1142619 - 24/08/2006 12:57 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



As a sailor and diver I do sometimes find it difficult to recognise Dive flags. In France this year I also encountered a different Dive flag that is red & white.

I needed to buy one to dive directly off the boat and the chap in the chandlery insisted the red/white one was the proper flag to fly not the alpha flag. It even said "Diving" on the packaging.

A quick trawl of the internet suggests the red/white flag says that you have divers down, whereas the Alpha flag suggests the boat is connected with the diving and is therefore restricted in it's manoeuvrability.

What does everyone else make of this?

Edited by rb_stretch (24/08/2006 12:59)

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bbg
regular


Reged: 02/05/2005
Posts: 353
Loc: Switzerland Re: A-Flags [Re: rb_stretch]
#1142698 - 24/08/2006 13:40 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



I always understood the two to be alternates - you fly one or the other. Red / white more common in North America (and Oz/NZ?), Alpha more common in Europe.

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bbg

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Ships_Cat
regular


Reged: 07/09/2004
Posts: 3469
Re: A-Flags [Re: bbg]
#1142706 - 24/08/2006 13:44 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Def Alpha required and used in NZ. Never seen any other here.

Pretty certain same in Oz.

John

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bbg
regular


Reged: 02/05/2005
Posts: 353
Loc: Switzerland Re: A-Flags [Re: Ships_Cat]
#1142734 - 24/08/2006 14:07 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



The answer to the different flags question here.

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bbg

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Metabarca
regular


Reged: 23/08/2002
Posts: 973
Loc: Trieste, Italy Re: A-Flags [Re: bbg]
#1142843 - 24/08/2006 15:27 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



red and white here in Italy.

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Sailing info for the Adriatic here: http://www.comoy.com/saillinks.html

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HowardP
regular


Reged: 21/07/2004
Posts: 88
Loc: Worcester Re: A-Flags [Re: Metabarca]
#1142912 - 24/08/2006 16:27 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply



Coming in a bit late on this thread so my bit will probably disappear into the ether!!

I dive and go boating and at one time held a lofty position within BSAC and the problem of divers and flags etc has always been there.

Part of the problem nowadays is, in my opinion, divers just aren't getting enough experience before actually extending their diving... sounds a bit odd that but they are basically lazy as far as planning is concerned.

Out they go in a boat, jump off, swan around and then pop their delayed marker buoy up for the boat to come and get them....hence the boat skipper not really having a huge idea where his divers are.

If the boat skipper does have an idea then he should "defend" his divers by putting his boat between the divers and the threat...simple and he shepherds the oncoming boat away. It isn't rocket science and it works.

As for size of A flags... where do you draw the line at being picky? How many fishing boats do you see in harbour still showing the signs for fishing? Not excusing dive boat skippers but look at the real world, a rigid replica on a 6m RIB is impractical. The RIB is versatile and quick enough to do the defending bit mentioned above, so is size important as long as you see it.
Responsible dive boat skippers, whether RIB or large boat, will invariably keep the boat "live" and not anchor to enable them to do the defending bit.

Personally I've never had any major problems from both sides of the fence. I wonder if this is a real problem or a perceived one?

Post Extras:

duncan
regular


Reged: 16/05/2001
Posts: 6909
Loc: Home mid Kent - Boat @ Poole Re: A-Flags [Re: HowardP]
#1143026 - 24/08/2006 17:30 Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply




Quote:
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I wonder if this is a real problem or a perceived one?



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same waters as BrendanS and it's real.

I want to be made aware of a possible diver - the flags used just don't do it. In relatively busy waters the time I have to take to work out which of the craft ahead I can plan to pass within 50m if necessary and which I would like to give 200m starts to eat into tie better suited to observation for pot buoys, nets and muppets trolling for bass with 200m of line trailing astern..............

So I am all for giving the dive boats a very wide berth - it would help me do it if they flew more obvious A flags.

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2006 passage plan - getting CG1 to the CIs (and back)

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