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Minimum Boating Distance from a Diving Buoy?

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Paraaronoid

New Member
Jul 6, 2007
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Up here in Canada, is there any law that states a minimum distance a boater has to be from your diving buoy? I know all Canadians are governed by the same boaters' laws (at the federal level). I just couldn't find any verbage with respect to diving buoys, my guess is that there is no such law. Can anyone confirm this?
 
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trux

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Dec 9, 2005
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It may differ in different countries, or even locations. For the USA, unless specified differently, the following rule should apply:

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 451 of 1994

324.80155 Divers; marking point of submergence; distance from diver's flag.

Sec. 80155.
Any person diving or submerging in any of the waters of this state with the aid of a diving suit or other mechanical diving device shall place a buoy or boat in the water at or near the point of submergence. The buoy or boat shall bear a red flag not less than 14 inches by 16 inches with a 3-1/2 inch white stripe running from 1 upper corner to a diagonal lower corner. The flag shall be in place only while actual diving operations are in progress. A vessel shall not be operated within 200 feet of a buoyed diver's flag unless it is involved in tendering the diving operation. A person diving shall stay within a surface area of 100 feet of the diver's flag.

Other resources, like for example this one from Florida, mention the distance of 300 feet:
(4) Divers shall make reasonable efforts to stay within 100 feet of the divers-down flag on rivers, inlets, and navigation channels. Any person operating a vessel on a river, inlet, or navigation channel must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of at least 100 feet from any divers-down flag.
(5) Divers must make reasonable efforts to stay within 300 feet of the divers-down flag on all waters other than rivers, inlets, and navigation channels. Any person operating a vessel on waters other than a river, inlet, or navigation channel must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of at least 300 feet from any divers-down flag.
(6) Any vessel other than a law enforcement or rescue vessel that approaches within 100 feet of a divers-down flag on a river, inlet, or navigation channel, or within 300 feet of a divers-down flag on waters other than a river, inlet, or navigation channel, must proceed no faster than is necessary to maintain headway and steerageway.

In France, the distance is 100 meters (approx 300 feet) too. So as you see, the distance may differ, and you best ask at your local marine district.
 
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Paraaronoid

New Member
Jul 6, 2007
109
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Unfortunately up here in Canada I think it is more like the wild west in the water and there are no such laws :-(

Not any that I could find anyways...We have a set of federal laws that govern how vessels operate, but there was no mention of diving buoys...
 

trux

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Dec 9, 2005
6,522
764
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Oh, I would be surprised, if there were no law in Canada specifying it - just ask the closest port authority
 
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Paraaronoid

New Member
Jul 6, 2007
109
16
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The only thing I could find is from Transport Canada's website that published a "Safe Boating Guide"...On page 51 it states:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/publications/en/tp511/pdf/hr/tp511e.pdf

"When you see either flag, give divers plenty of room by keeping your boat at least 100 m (328’) from the flag. If you can’t stay that far away because of the size of the waterway, slow down as much as possible, move ahead with caution, and keep clear of the vessel and diving site."

I think the problem though is that it is just a 'guideline' and not actually written into law as such...
 
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