What is the issue?Code Flags are frequently displayed on advertisement vessels during regattas and also races or offered as bunting in ~ shoreside events. However the principal use of password flags is communication between vessels. Advertisement vessels use code flags and shapes together sound signals
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when moving, anchored or together terminals to interact their intentions. Why attend to this?Although it may seem an archaic means of communication, that is vital for mariners to understand the definition of several of the more common flag signals supplied within shared waterways. Specifically the "One-flag" signals supplied in case of danger or breakdowns. Just how to resolve this?
The below signals and also code flags are part of an worldwide recognised system which deserve to be used by any kind of vessel to communicate with those roughly it. One-flag signals room urgent or typical signals the are generally displayed, and it is vital to understand their definition when flown individually.COMMON ONE FLAG SIGNALS
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The red-and-white flag and "Alpha" or "Alfa" flag both median "I have actually a diverdown; keep well clean at sluggish speed"Image: Michael Harpur
The diver down flag, or scuba flag, is used on the water to show that over there is a diver below. Two styles of the flag room in use. Internationally, the password flag alfa/alpha, i m sorry is white and also blue, is used to signal that the vessel has actually a diver down and other vessels should keep well clear at slow-moving speed. In european waters ship accompanying divers are compelled to display screen the code Flag ‘A’ once divers space in the water. The north America convention is the red through a white strip from the upper left corner to the reduced right corner. However, it must be noted that a Red flag with the diagonal line white strip is additionally an internationally recognised flag and it is an ext commonly provided on surface marker buoys.

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Dive vessel reflecting the Red flag
Image: Eric T Gunther via CC BY-SA 3.0
When you view a vessel or surface marker displaying one of two people of this flags give it a large berth and pass in ~ an suitable speed. Divers may travel some distance indigenous the vessel so friend should also keep a an excellent watch ~ above the water roughly you. Look for rising bubbles and surface markers which can indicate a diver is close to the surface.
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D: i am manoeuvring through difficulty; save clear.
Image: Michael Harpur
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E: changing Course to Starboard
Image: Michael Harpur
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I: changing course to Port
Image: Michael Harpur
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P: around to sail
Image: Michael Harpur
COMPLETE LISTThe complete set of the worldwide Signal Flags and illustrated below together with their worldwide meanings.
A: Alpha – diver down; store clearB: Bravo – delivering dangerous cargoC: Charlie – yesD: Delta – save clearE: Echo – changing course to starboardF: Foxtrot – i am disabledG: Golf – I desire a pilotH: Hotel – a pilot top top boardI: India – ns am altering course come portJ: Juliet – ship on fire save clearK: Kilo – I want to communicate with youL: Lima – protect against your vessel instantlyM: Mike -my ship is stoppedN: November – noO: Oscar – man overboardP: Papa – the courage is around to sailQ: Quebec – ns request free pratiqueR: Romeo – turning back courseS: Sierra – engines room going asternT: Tango – save clearU: Uniform – you space heading right into dangerV: Victor – call for assistanceW: Whiskey – require clinical assistanceX: X-ray – protect against your intentionY: Yankee – to be dragging anchorZ: Zulu – I need a tugSTORM WARNING FLAGSAlthough official retired, storm warning flags space still worldwide recognised code flags. Little boat stations, marinas and coastguards still usage flags to alert boaters of unavoidable weather alerts such as little craft advisory warnings, and also gale, storm and also hurricane warnings.
“Small handmade Advisory”: issued for continual winds or regular gusts of 20 come 33 knots and/or seas of 7 feet or better expected in a certain zone. A single red pennant can be hoisted because that such an event.
“Gale Warning”: authorize for sustained winds or constant gusts that 34 come 47 knots. Two red pennants deserve to be hoisted for a gale warning.
“Tropical Storm Warning”: Issued because that the danger of continual winds or regular gusts the 34 to 63 knots linked with a tropical storm. A square red flag v an installed black square deserve to be hoisted for an unavoidable tropical storm.
“Hurricane Warning”: authorize for continual winds or constant gusts exceeding 63 knots. 2 square red flags with installed black squares can be hoisted because that a hurricane warning.
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