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Diving laws/rules

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    Posted: 05 Sep 2019 at 12:58pm
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A couple of diving mates have had their wrists slapped by MPI officials for not following the rules regarding dive flags on floats. Some of the comments were quite petty. One group was even threatened with a fine.

I'm all for safe diving practices and no one minds a bit of friendly advice. That said...

1) I thought MPI were concerned with fishery management, not diver safety. Is it within their jurisdiction to get involved?

2) I thought the rules relating to these matters were set by Maritime NZ. There is a clear summary here: https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/magazines/lookout/issue-29/issue-29-6.asp

Rules relate to dive boats and flags, boat speed around divers etc; the remainder is just advice as I read it.

Any comments?



 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 8:44am
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Maritime NZs graphic on that page is wrong.  It implies speed restriction 50m from a boat with a dive flag up when that's 50m from any anchored boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 9:57am
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We had a MPI boat cruising around checking a few weeks back..
 They took a count, also checked basic stuff like jackets etc...

 I also noted that there was 1 guy sitting quietly in the back with a little different logos .. a policeman present...which is not unusual these days considering the attitude of some people being checked.
I dont believe most would have noticed the policeman in the back.. logos, uniforms all very much the same.
 Now if this was the case.. then yep a fine would very possibly be on the cards.

Regardless, be it a MPI or another diver or boat, if the rules where being broken, they where being broken...what is the problem of who points it out?
 Whats the point of arguing , red herrings and splitting hairs..?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 9:57am
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It's not exactly wrong, but certainly misleading.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 9:59am
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Originally posted by Steps Steps wrote:


Regardless, be it a MPI or another diver or boat, if the rules where being broken, they where being broken...what is the problem of who points it out?
 Whats the point of arguing , red herrings and splitting hairs..?

OK, so what are the rules?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 10:32am
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5knts within 50m of a dive flag? Rule states vessel flying dive flag but I think you would include float with dive flag.
water water everywhere,how many fish does it hold?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JasonEdward62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 10:46am
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Not sure what you want to know - your link to the rules answers your question...Drawings may be misleading but where are you confused?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JasonEdward62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 10:48am
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Having said that, I would be interested to know exactly what the Officers said to your friends and what rules were allegedly breached...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 12:23pm
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Diving or freediving?

If just with a snorkel i believe they cant do bugger all as its more like being a swimmer than diving. (what's the difference between someone at a beach with a snorkel messing around and me getting scallops?).

I do however understand the dive flag thing.. But no way in hecka will I put a dive flag up in my scallop spot x on snake bank. People might raid me spots (taking the chook use your dive flags)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 12:44pm
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Mates who were freediving from the shore have been hassled/threatened with a fine for not using a float, having the wrong kind of dive flag on a float and not diving in buddy pairs at different times. As I thought was clear from my opening post, I'm not trying to be a dick, or be clever, just trying to ascertain what the rules are. Friendly advice should always be welcome, but no one appreciates zealous officials over-stepping the mark do they?

I'm interested because I consider using a float when SCUBA diving for scallops to be a risk rather than a safety enhancement when diving somewhere as busy as Whangarei Harbour. I really don't trust boat owners to avoid floats/ropes when I'm pottering around on the sea bed. However, I deploy a float (delayed surface marker buoy) prior to surfacing.  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 5:38pm
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Its a can of worms if its regarding freediving. Either way.. Hard to inforce it when there are so many examples that are fine.

Put a vessel ontop of you is about the safest way to dive. Even then though turkeys rip through within 50m as you are well aware.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rozboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2019 at 12:02am
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I wonder where you draw the line. If I lob a couple of spearos over the side at a wash rock maybe 1km offshore, then we drive off a few hundred metres for a line fish, do we need a dive flag up? If we're nearby and have a flag up, do the swimmers need one on their float too? Obviously bubble-blowers don't have one for practical reasons, but if they are covered by the boat's flag then surely a freediver is too?

If the boat and spearo are within 200m of the shore, do you need a flag? I mean, probably wise to have one anyway, but is it required?

The regulations seem kinda unclear to me in some fairly common circumstances.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2019 at 3:46pm
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The legislation on diving and flags is pretty much focused on boats conducting SCUBA diving operations.

The legislation itself makes no mention of shore divers (free or otherwise).

The literature / brochures they publish now promote the use of floats and flags for freediving but it's not actually the law.  Note also that the size flag included in the legislation is not practical to tow round on a spearfishing float.  The flags in spearo floats are smaller.

Despite all the above I do use a float and flag because it just makes sense.
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