Persons scuba diving or skin diving in federally controlled waters must display a diver-down flag to mark their diving area. Those involved in spear fishing in Arkansas state waters must display a diver-down flag and stay within 300 feet of the displayed flag. For safety reasons, it is strongly recommended that vessels not engaged in diving operations stay at least 100 feet away from a displayed diver-down flag.
Scuba divers and snorkelers should not place a flag in an area already occupied by other boaters or where their diving operation will impede the normal flow of waterway traffic. Divers also should follow all of the water safety rules themselves.
Two types of flags are used to indicate diving activity.
Divers Flag: A rectangular red flag with a white diagonal stripe is attached to a vessel, float, or buoy.
Alfa Flag: A blue-and-white International Code Flag A (or Alfa flag), at least 3.3 feet (one meter) high and visible from all directions, must be displayed on vessels on federally controlled waters. This flag indicates that the vessel is involved in a diving activity.