One of the main tenets of SCUBA diving, no matter where in the world you may be, is safety. Without careful regard for safety measures and practices, diving would be a tremendously risky activity, and certainly not one that people would undertake for enjoyment. From the education process all the way down to the gear we use, safety is the common element. And one of the most important pieces of safety gear is a dive flag.
The ubiquitous rectangular red flag with the white slash through it is universally recognized as the symbol for SCUBA diving. There is another dive flag that is half a white square and the other half a sort of blue K, which is required on vessels that are operating in federally controlled waters, but the aforementioned flag is by far the most widely accepted as the dive flag. Even if you are not diving from a boat, a dive flag should be in your possession and floated properly in the area in which you will be diving. This symbol lets other watercraft know that you are below the surface, thus greatly reducing the risk that an accident between divers and watercraft occurs.
As part of the Dive Equipment Marketing Association’s (DEMA) ongoing campaign to promote diver safety and boater awareness of divers, they have produced a new dive flag awareness poster that they are encouraging dive industry professionals to print out and distribute to local area marinas, dive shops, and watercraft enthusiasts. As we begin to enjoy warmer weather and more outings on water bodies, the more aware everyone is made of the dive flag and what it means, the more safe and enjoyable the waters will be for everyone. Click the image to get your own printable version or download to share with your online community, and enjoy this short PSA put together by DEMA, Divers Alert Network (DAN), the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Safety is something we all can promote!