© 2013 Diveflag is a trading title of Safety Offshore Solutions Ltd.
Registered in England & Wales, No. 8111273.
Registered Office: The Business Village, Lower Union Road, Kingsbridge, Devon, UK. TQ7 1EF
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Although not recorded in official statistics and often left unreported to the appropriate authorities, being nearly run down, or injured by a boat skippered by someone who probably didn’t understand the meaning of the Alpha or red & white dive flag you were flying is one of the highest dangers a diver faces, wherever they are diving.
As an instructor in charge of students with limited buoyancy control in shallow waters, or indeed as a new diver this risk increases dramatically. A quick visit to your favourite computer search engine will show you the online diver forums have many threads devoted to discussions on just this subject. A number of clubs have taken the initiative to produce Educational and Promotional posters, usually as a result of a near miss incident, to try and convey the message to other water users.
Based on the ancient universal language of symbols, the red triangle is used Worldwide to warn you of danger. In the UK this system is adopted on the roads also. In other countries such as Australia, their warning road signs are yellow and diamond in shape. They still however carry a red triangle in the back of their vehicle for emergency use.
The human mind processes information and draws a conclusion from that information very quickly. If however, the message is confused (the flag is not recognised for what it represents) then the best brain in the world is unlikely to come to the correct conclusion.
It is human instinct to travel towards a buoy in an otherwise empty ocean, a great turning point for a jet ski or water skier, easier reference for the brain to control your motion, or just idle curiosity as to why it’s there and what it represents. If it was known that it symbolised a scuba diver or snorkeler in the vicinity, most water traffic would avoid them. It is all about understanding the message.
We have designed our flag so it may be flown easily by any boat. It has both eyelets and a facility for a rope and toggle fixing. In addition we have included a 3” sleeve made from strong webbing. This is so the flag can be slipped over the handle end of a boat hook or a paddle if no other means of hoisting it is available.
Our flag also has a unique and purpose designed collapsible stiffener system. This enables the flag to be fully visible even on a beautiful sunny day with no breeze.
When you need to store it, the stiffener rods can be collapsed so the flag can be rolled around the rods and stored using very little space. Having spent many years teaching scuba diving from RIB’s, we understand just how little storage space is available and how valuable that space is!
It is our intention to educate boat users in diver awareness and ensure every recreational water user is made aware of the possibility of encountering divers, snorkelers or a diver down in the water and what steps they should take to ensure their safety.
We intend to send literature and posters to all major boating magazines and UK harbour offices. This will be followed by posters and literature to major boat sellers and tourist information offices where we hope it will be included in the literature given to most holiday makers visiting your region. This is an international product, we hope the word spreads beyond the UK, with your help?
We are currently working on a sticker of our flag which can be attached to any SMB and we are already producing a clothing line, the more people who see the image, the more familiar it will become!
All our flags are hand made in the UK by Zephyr.