This week another boat incident was mentioned in a post on SpearOZ.org called Divers Beware!!!. The incident was at Malabar and luckily the boat only managed to catch the float line and rip the gun out of the divers hand. See more from the link above.
This rekindled the discussion on changing the Dive Flag we spear fishermen currently use on our floats. We are generally in agreement that the international diver down flag (red with white diagonal line) is better due to its increased visibility on the water. Efforts are being made by various people to make this change for our safety.
Special note: The blue and white Alpha flag is required to be flown on a boat when you have a diver in the water. This is required by the International Rules for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) Rule 27 (e).
For your own safety, always dive with a float and flag. Probably the most dangerous part of our sport is boat traffic so making an effort to be seen is in everyone’s best interest.
There has been a mention in the Clareville Alliman thread about popular Mosman Whaler spearo Steve Wayne being hit by a vessel so I thought I would put out a brief run down, basically to further enforce to you all out there just how careful you must be in the water. People ask me about shark shields all the time, my reply these days is, “forget the shark shield spend the money on as big as float and flag as is practical, you have far more chance of being struck by a vessel as you do being hit by a shark. Especially along the East Coasts temperate waters.