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New diver flag regulations

A new law taking effect on July 1st will have both divers and boaters paying closer attention while in the water.

Under the new law, divers will have more choices to mark their position in the water by using either a diver's down flag or buoy.

Before anyone takes a dip into the water to go diving, they're required by law to mark their position with a divers down flag.

The new law now gives divers the option to use either a flag, a buoy or a buoy with a flag attached.

The law also specifies how far a diver can dive from the flag, and how far boaters must stay away from the flag.

In smaller bodies of water like rivers, inlets, and small channels, divers must stay within 100-feet of the dive flag, and boaters must stay at least a 100-feet away from the flag.

In all other bodies of water, divers must stay within 300-feet of the dive flag, and boaters must stay at least 300-feet away from the flag.

Diver Josh Gay says, "that kind of gives a good buffer for a diver, and it also tells a vessel to slow down and use caution in that area".

Josh Gay has trained thousands of divers over the years.

He says that while many divers already followed these rules before they were mandated, safety will now be enhanced for everyone while in the water.

He adds, "the ultimate goal here is to make sure everybody in the area sees a diver, they know a diver is present, and they know they need to use caution in the area".

If these rules are violated, the person will receive a noncriminal infraction and could be subject to a civil penalty.