Scuba divers or snorkelers must display a diver-down flag that marks their diving area. The flag must be displayed whenever someone is diving below the surface. Vessels should stay as far away from a diver-down flag as is reasonable and prudent for the circumstances. The suggested safe distance is 100 yards.
• The diver-down flag that is recognized and used on Arizona waters, including the Colorado River and Lake System, is a rectangular red flag with a white diagonal stripe.
• A blue and white international Code Flag A (or Alfa flag) is recognized and used on federally controlled or international waters.
Alfa 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.
Arizona law requires that vessels towing person(s) on water skis or similar devices carry and use a red or orange skier-down flag, at least 12 x 12 inches in size and mounted on a handle, whenever a skier is in the water after falling or while preparing to ski.
In order to hold a race, regatta, or tournament on federally controlled waters, a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard is required. When the marine event is held on state waters, a permit is not required, but the event sponsor is responsible for ensuring the public’s welfare. Vessel operators competing in marine events may test the vessels prior to the event only if the operators have first obtained a permit from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Many waterways in Arizona have special regulations such as horsepower restrictions or speed limits. Be sure to check for special restrictions on a waterway before you go boating.
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