Dive Flag Regulations


Local Dive Flag Regulations

Others are alerted to a diver down through two methods. The first is the blue and white alpha flag (used internationally); the second is the red and white dive flag (predominately used in North America). Each nation and state has different regulations and laws regarding the use of and response to the presence of dive flags. Continue reading for information on our local regulations.

Connecticut:

  • Dive flag must be two-sided and at least 13″ x 15″
  • No more than 4 divers per flag (unless displayed on a boat, then maximum is determined by boat capacity)
  • Divers must not surface or swim more than 50′ from their flag
  • Boaters must stay at least 100′ away from dive flags

CT Source: 2018 Connecticut Boaters Guide

Maine:

  • Dive flag must be displayed on recreational vessels if engaged in scuba diving activities

ME Source: The Boaters Guide to Maine Boating Laws and Responsibility (Effective June 2015)

Massachusetts:

  • Dive flag must be at least 12″ x 15″ and red in color with a white diagonal line
  • Must extend at least 3′ above the water surface
  • Divers must not surface or swim more than 100′ from their flag
  • Boaters shall not exceed 3mph in presence of a dive flag

MA Source: Public Ways and Works: Motorboats, Other Vessels, and Recreational Vehicles

New Hampshire:

  • Red and white diver down flag must be used at all times during diving activities
  • Bottom of flag must extend at least 3′ above the water surface
  • Divers must not surface or swim more than 75′ from their flag
  • Boaters must remain a minimum of 150′ away from dive flags and maintain headway speed

NH Source: Chapter 270 – Supervision of Navigation Section 270:31 – Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Rhode Island:

  • Dive flag must be at least 12″ x 12″ and red in color with a white diagonal line
  • If flown from a boat, the flag must be at least 18″ x 18″
  • Boaters must stay at least 50′ from dive flags unless they are obstructing navigation
  • Flag must be illuminated at night

RI Source: Requirements and Standards for Vessels and Associated Equipment

Vermont:

  • Dive flag must be at least 12″ x 12″ and red in color with a white diagonal line
  • Boaters must stay at least 200′ from dive flags

VT Source: The Handbook of Vermont Boating Laws and Responsibilities


Updated 5/29/18 CAL