Keeping Divers Safe: Dive Flag Awareness

dive flag awareness posterOne 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!



  1. Sure…it gives the boaters something to aim at…:(

  2. Sure do, its fun for me. I have had close calls with folks regardless though. They are drawn to the red or they think its decoration.

  3. I’d rather go stealth. They always drop the toxic waste cans right on top of us. Then speed off.

  4. Not any more ! Tired of losing my spears in the bottom of jet ski hulls

  5. It doesn’t seem to keep them away, or slow them down.

  6. Always

  7. Yes always, it is the law here.

  8. No… we go in a quarry that’s divers & swimmers only… divers have right of way.

  9. Exactly, they’re like boat magnets. We just take extra caution surfacing. Save the floats for classes.

  10. No, they tangle in the kelp. That is what a DSMB is for

  11. I have to agree with many of the comments left, although I do scuba with a dive flag as a safety measure and law, it is not us divers that need the education it’s the public, they see a flag bobbing up and down , next thing you know it they approach my dive flag, I even had one guy who was a fisherman and thought it was a bouy marked as a ” Fishing Hot Spot” , next thing you know I see a large hook and lure casted in the water right next to my flag, being that I had a small group I had to surface and educate the fishermen, which gave me a hard time telling me ” YOU DON’T OWN THE OCEAN”, I kept my cool and even though he was very upset he left, I could now enjoy the rest of my dive keeping all of us safe! SAFE Diving everyone!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    • Creedence says:

      That is why DEMA is encouraging divers and dive professionals alike to share this information with marinas and watercraft shops to make sure the message is spread far and wide! 🙂

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