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Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

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Salt Lake City, Utah
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94 posts
12 reviews
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Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

Hey ya'll -

I don't plan on doing any dives , just snorkeling, but I've been to places that you can get a ticket for not having a floating marker with you while snorkeling. Does anyone know the policy? We'll get in on Saturday, and although I agree with the safety aspect of it, it is a pain in the tookus to have to tote a little foam or inflatable flag with you. Is there a wake restriction in certain areas?

Thanks, see you very soon Roatan.

Menlo Park...
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1. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

If you are snorkeling off the West Bay beach there will be so many of you that there is not a problem in going out without a flag. The problem is further north along the reef toward West End, where there are way fewer snorkelers and the boats tend to run full speed. Plus now there are jet skis, which I still think are illegal. Shows how well things are enforced. Anyway the park has no restriction about towing flags. Generally the water is so flat that you can be easily seen. Plus you can hear the boats a long way off. Plus if it comes to it, there is enough depth where the boats operate that you can duck. Plus the water taxis tend to stick to one narrow avenue, and after you cross that you can relax, if just a little. You could take a kayak. Or swim carefully and alertly. If you see a boat coming along that will cross your path, I'd hang out until it has passed.

So there I was, on my first swim out from Sueno del Mar last week heading for the 3-buoy marker at Blue Channel. I see a fishing boat a ways out there that will cross well in front of me. I swim along further and stick my head up and see that he has diverted close so he can yell at me, basically "get out of my ocean". Nothing about where's my flag or do I know what time it is. Just get out of here in impolite Spanish. The water taxi guys just pass and wave and never say anything. The closest confrontation I had all week was with the Las Rocas dive boat which had cast off its mooring line in the channel before starting its engine. And then its engine would not start. So I had to float around waiting for him to get started and leave the area before I could swim on. Right them I looked down and saw 3 eagle rays swimming into the channel below them. If I hadn't stopped to wait I would have missed it.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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94 posts
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2. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

Got it, and thanks - so just use common sense and practice "defensive" snorkeling.

I had the same thing happen in the Sian Ka-An preserve in Mexico - out there by myself, snorkeling and taking pictures, and a boat with two locals did one "fly by", missing me by about 10 feet, then motored up and essentially told me to leave. Granted, the only restrictions in place are no fishing/spearfishing, so I tried to explain that I was simply snorkeling, but they were no listening, and told me that ONLY natives could fish there. Still wasn't fishing... anyway, they basically escorted me out of the water and then went on their merry way.

United States
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547 posts
73 reviews
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3. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

West End- Half Moon bay and around the corner is very nice for snorkeling. Yes, you have to watch the boats, but when I was there is wasn't bad. Enforcement..I hardly think there is any. Hell I saw only 2 police officers with very very old guns walking through town on occasion while there. I dont think they write tickets either?

Bayfield, WI
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169 posts
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4. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

I wear either a blaze orange or lime green long sleeve rash guard which should make me more visible to boaters. But I have never snorkeled where there are boats going full throttle either.

Canada
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5. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

I have to say-watching the snorkelers in Half Moon Bay and being one myself-you don't need or require a flag by law but could I suggest something bright even just your flippers or your bathing suit or even a shirt. I thought the people all in black or dark colours-it must be hard for the boats to see you.

6. Re: Dive / Snorkel Flags Needed?

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