Divers-down flags/buoys

Divers-down Flag Whether diving in Pensacola, scalloping in the Big Bend, lobstering in the Florida Keys or seeing the sights below the water’s surface in one of the many rivers, the FWC wants to remind divers to use a divers-down flag or buoy whenever they are snorkeling or scuba diving.

All divers must prominently display a divers-down flag or buoy in the area in which the diving occurs.

All vessels must make reasonable effort to stay at least 100 feet away from a divers-down flag or buoy within a river, inlet or channel. In open waters, vessels must make reasonable effort to stay 300 feet away. For safety, divers should stay within those same distances of their displayed flag or buoy. A vessel that approaches closer must be fully off plane and at idle speed.

The flag or buoy should only be displayed when divers are ready to enter the water or are in the water. When divers or snorkelers exit the water, it must be taken down.

The FWC's Division of Law Enforcement works to provide safe and enjoyable boating for the people of Florida and its visitors through the effective and coordinated management of our waterways. We will strive to work with all stakeholders when developing rules and making statutory recommendations. We will accomplish this by incorporating sound scientific data, reasonable public input and common sense. We will work to formulate the best solutions possible without jeopardizing our natural resources or our freedoms to navigate.

FWC Facts:
Each person operating, riding on, or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved, non-inflatable Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD).

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