The Handbook of Tennessee Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Web Version
Table of Contents
State law requires that scuba divers and snorkelers display a diver-down flag to mark the diving area.
- Scuba divers or snorkelers should not place a flag where it will obstruct traffic or create a hazard to navigation on a river, inlet, or navigation channel.
- Vessel operators must not operate within 50 feet of a displayed diver-down flag and must reduce speed to idle speed when within 200 feet of the flag.
- Divers and snorkelers must stay within 50 of their diver-down flag. After dusk, the flag must be illuminated so that it can be seen at a distance of 300 feet or more.
Two types of flags are used to indicate diving activity.
A rectangular red flag with a white diagonal stripe is used to mark the diving area and also must be displayed on vessels on state waters. When flown from a vessel, the flag must be at least 20 x 24 inches.
A blue and white International Code Flag A (or Alfa flag) must be displayed on vessels on state or federally controlled waters. The flag must be at least 3.3 feet (one meter) high and visible from all directions.
Any vessel used in the diving operation must display from its mast both a divers flag and an Alfa flag visible from all directions. After dusk, these flags must be illuminated so that they can be seen at a distance of 300 feet or more.