Hawaii law requires that scuba divers or snorkelers display a diver-down flag to mark the diving area. Vessel operators may not operate at greater than “slow-no-wake speed” within 200 feet of a diver-down flag. Vessel operators also must not operate within 50 feet of a displayed diver-down flag on navigable streams or within 100 feet of a displayed diver-down flag elsewhere. Divers must not surface more than 100 feet away from their flag in ocean waters or 50 feet away from their flag in navigable streams.
Note: A vessel may approach within 100 feet of a diver-down flag at “slow-no-wake speed” if the flag is displayed where the vessel operator wants to dive or if the vessel is picking up a diver who is under the flag.
The red-and-white diver-down flag is required on state waters.
Diver-Down Flag: A red flag with a white diagonal stripe must be displayed on the highest point of the main structure of vessels on Hawaii waters so that the flag is visible from all directions. This flag indicates the presence of a scuba diver or snorkeler in the immediate area.
- For non-motorized vessels that are 16 feet or less in length, the flag must be at least 12 inches x 12 inches in size.
- For all vessels that are more than 16 feet in length, the flag must be at least 20 inches x 24 inches in size.
- When diving at night, the flag must be illuminated so that it is visible from a distance of at least 100 feet away.