If you are here wondering why snorkelers need dive flags or you want to get into snorkeling and you are wondering what you would need the dive flag for generally and why you need them at night, then just put your reading cap on because in this article we have the answers you seek ready for you.
A dive flag, also known as a diver down flag or scuba flag is used by divers in the water to notify those at the top that there is a diver below.
This tells boat drivers that you are there underwater so they should stay clear at a slow speed so they won’t run over you.
Technically, boat drivers are supposed to stay clear of a dive flag and not even come close to 50-100 feet of a dive flag.
There are two types of diver down flags namely; the code Alfa/Alpha which is used all over the world, the color of this one is white and blue.
Whereas in places like North America the diver down flag is red with a white stripe slanting at the middle of the flag from the left corner at the top to the right corner at the bottom.
The Alpha or Alfa is a code signal the “international maritime signal flag” is signified the letter “A”, this just means “there is a diver down here, please stay clear of this area, if you have to drive by do so at slow speed”.
It is whatever a diver uses to notify their presence boats when submerged under water, the dive flag is made used by divers all over the world not just those in the States, Canada, and other countries like the Caribbean which are within the United States cultural diving sphere of influence.
When a ship is used by divers in at open sea but isn’t able to move from a spot for different reasons, and maybe its size or other technical difficulties that cannot allow the ship to display the light and shapes that are required by the “international regulations for preventing collisions at sea” which is found in the IRPCS rule 27.
An uncanny version of the Alpha dive flag is displayed by the ship to notify other ships that they are there and cannot move from that spot.
The dive flag is held at the top of the water by a buoy, while the diver holds a line in the water directly connected to the dive flag, this allows him or her to be able to pull the flag along where ever he or she swims to while underwater.
How To Use A Dive Flag When Snorkeling At Night
Seeing as we have established the use of a dive flag also known as a very down flathe the g, let’s go on to see how a diver diving at night would make use of one seeing how it’ll be so dark out it won’t be really easy for a boater to spot the flag early enough, and anything can happen.
It is required by law in some tropdestdestinations for a diver or snorkeler to have and use a dive flag at all times, even though this law is hardly ever obeyed and I advise divers and snorkelers to follow these laws, it is for the best.
Snorkeling at night is a beautiful way to experience underwater life in such a way that is impossible during the day.
It might seem like a bad idea to snorkel at night but with the right equipment it is not hard to do and it is rather safe.
This can be referred to as a guideline to ensure your protection as a snorkeler, do well to follow it for your safety.
Let’s take a look at them below:
1# Make use of a bright flashlight: Hold on to a bright flashlight as you snorkel and also attach one at the top to your dive flag so boats can spot it and stay clear of it.
The flashlight helps you see the creatures underwater at night, it also helps you avoid obstacles you may come across in the water.
2# Be cautious about your surroundings: You should endeavor to snorkel in an area you are familiar with, you could explore the area during the day to be familiar with the surroundings.
3# Put on reflective gear: Just as you need to see your surroundings at night, you need others to see you as well.
So wear reflective gear so others can easily spot you as you snorkel at night.
This is highly important when you’re snorkeling where there are lots of boats moving about.
4# Headlamps: To keep your hands free you can also use a bright headlamp, one bright enough for you to see the beauty of the underwater world at night.