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Maine Dive Flags

Rules for ME divers and boaters

Bill Noble did some research and told us, "As far as I can tell, Maine is actually not very strict about the use of dive flags. The only law I could find is administered by the Maine Dept. of Marine Resources, and it covers only a very specific situation. It reads as follows:

6956. Diver's down flag required

A person licensed to harvest a marine species by hand must display a diver's down flag when using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus to harvest that species. For the purposes of this section, "diver's down flag" means the International Code Flag "A" as defined in navigation rules adopted by the United States Coast Guard. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $100 and not more than $500 may be adjudged.

"It is interesting to note that the law only refers to the alpha flag, and not the more-popular red flag with diagonal stripe.
http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/12/title12sec6956.html

Dennis Dorsey of Downeast Diving in Eastport, Maine, supplemented this information. Dennis writes, "I am a former law enforcement officer in the state of Maine. I have looked over the years for any laws pertaining to the use of a dive flag while diving in Maine waters. ... The law quoted [above] is strictly for salt water harvesting of marine life by commercial divers. And the alpha flag is the flag to be used. The state of Maine has no other law pertaining to ANY flag that must be used while diving in salt or fresh water. However there is a law for boaters to acknowledge the red flag with the diagonal white stripe, and to keep a distance of 100 feet away. This diver down flag is considered a 'Waterway Marker'. Violation of this is a Class E (misdemeanor) criminal offense under Maine law. The information can be found here:
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/water_activities/boating/navigational_aids.shtml



Happy Diving,
Chris
Chris Whitten
chris-(@)-interesting.com (remove the hyphens and parentheses)
Dive-Flag.com Webmaster

P.S. The information above was as complete and up-to-date at the time as I could make it. It should not be construed as providing legal advice. You should conduct your own legal research or contact an attorney.

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