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Diver Down!

Diver Down Awareness.

In New Zealand (as is the case around the world), there is a growing need to educate boaties and fishermen about the dangers of motoring in areas where there are divers in the water.

Not only is it limited to powerboats but yachts (who may not have propellers, but can still pose serious injury or death to divers if a collision occurs.

“Several years ago a good friend of mine was diving the weed edge out from T-point one hour north of Auckland, he was towing a float 15mts from him with a blue and white dive flag flying from it.
He was underwater when he heard a boat approaching, out of air he had to surface, the boat was on top of him in seconds, his reflex was to bunch up rolling sideways taking the boat impact on his arms, the hull smashed into him blowing him away from rolling under the boat and getting hit by the propeller.
He was badly bruised by nothing broken, the driver slowed looked back then continued on not stopping to see if he was okay. This could have been a fatal accident, the boatie did not slow for the dive flag clearly not understanding the rules.”
Darren Shields
This is a growing concern for Spearfishermen, Freedivers and SCUBA divers alike.

Fly The Flag!

Although there are some that ignore or don’t understand the meaning of a dive flag, if you have divers in the water you need to let other water users around you know that you have people underwater that may surface in your vicinity.

Watch Your Position!

Do your best to ensure that you are within 200Metres of your dive flag, either stay close to your dive boat, or have a surface float (with dive flag) that marks your position for other vessels to take note and avoid.

Surface Safely!

When you are diving in openwater, take the opportunity to have a 3metre safety stop, and use this time to look up and listen for any approaching boats.
We understand that breath-hold divers do not have this luxury, so ensure you have someone on the Dive boat who can wave the Dive flag and photograph the boat that is offending, in order that the police and Maratime Safety NZ can be informed without delay.

Permanent link to this article: http://nzu.org.nz/safety-medical/diver-down/