Find out about diving safety requirements.

To ensure your safety while diving, you must always display a signal to alert other water users.

Safety requirements when diving from a boat

Diving during daylight

Your vessel must display the International Code Flag A.

The flag must be at least 750 mm in length and not less than 600 mm in width.

International Code Flag A

Image: International Code Flag A


Diving at night

Your vessel must display the international lights to indicate that a vessel is restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

These are three lights in a vertical line, the top and bottom are red and the middle one is white.

Your vessel should also display an anchor light.

Unattended boats

Leaving a vessel unattended is very dangerous.

We strongly recommend that a responsible person stays onboard the boat whenever divers are below.

The person on board may need to:

  • raise an alarm if the diver is overdue to surface
  • attend to the vessel if it starts drifting
  • help divers back onboard after the dive.

If it is necessary leave your boat unattended, make sure your anchor is set to hold for the duration of the dive.

Diving operation boat lights and flag
Diving operation boat lights and flag

Safety requirements when diving without a boat

Diving during daylight

When diving without boat, you must display the International Code Flag A.

When diving from a jetty, the flag must be at least 750 mm in length and not less than 600 mm in width.

You can also choose to display the flag from a buoy. The flag must be at least than 300 millimetres in length and 200 millimetres in width.

The flag must be clearly visible to all vessels operating nearby.

Diving at night

When diving without a boat at night, you must display a yellow-orange flashing light that can be seen from a minimum distance of 200 metres.

Operating vessels near divers

All vessels must keep at least 50 metres clear of boats, buoys or areas showing diving signals.

Where this is not possible, the approaching vessel should:

  • proceed at the slowest speed at which the vessel can be safely navigated
  • maintain a proper lookout for people or divers in the water.

All vessels must navigate to avoid injury to the diver and interference with the vessel or floating object.

Diving near commercial fisheries

Commercial fishing operators have the right to operate within 50 metres of a diving flag as long as it is safe to do so.

Divers should also avoid encroaching on fishing gear, such as pots and lines.

Before you go

Before you leave home to go diving:

  • Check the weather before you go. Conditions on the water’s surface can deteriorate rapidly during the dive.
  • Have a contingency plan in case of bad weather.
  • Check all your safety equipment is in date and in working order.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you intend to return.

If using a boat:

Download the Deckee app for safety, weather and location-based information to help you stay safe on the water

Opens in a new window Volunteer Marine Rescue Western Australia


Caution! Diver Below stickers are available. 

For a copy, email edboat@transport.wa.gov.au

Diver below sticker
Diver below sticker

The following sticker is available from Marine Safety.

For a copy of the Caution! - Diver below sticker email us or call 13 11 56.

Page last updated: Mon Apr 22 2024 3:16:07 PM