Know your diver-down flags

After someone on Facebook posted a video of a powerboater blasting through their clearly marked dive site near Giant’s Tomb Island, I thought it would be worth addressing the issue of diver awareness. Georgian Bay is full of wrecks that are popular with divers (and snorkelers like me), and if you are going to do any boating around here, you ought to be familiar with the flag basics. I’ve shown here Transport Canada’s info on the relevant flags and what they mean. People are probably most familiar with the red flag with the white diagonal used for diving buoys, which tells you to stay clear and proceed with caution. They may be less familiar with the code A flag that is flown by the dive boat, which tells you to keep clear and go slowly. A diver friend tells me divers here are more likely to display the red-with-white-diagonal on their boat as well, because it’s more widely recognized, thanks to Van Halen.

It helps to know ahead of time where wrecks are that attract divers and snorkelers. Not all such wrecks are on the nav charts, because not all of them are shallow enough to be a hazard to navigation. You can check Navionics for wreck sites added by users. Just be aware that not all the locations are necessarily pinpoint accurate, as in the case of the Wawinet wreck, as I discussed here on the blog, and in several additional posts.

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