South Carolina Laws Affecting Diving
Dive Flag Laws
Bang Sticks
UnderwaterAntiquities Act

Diver Down Flag
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International Code "A" Flag - "Alpha Flag"
The State of South Carolina does not have a mandatory "Diver Down" (red with a diagonal white stripe) flag usage law.  So the use of this flag is not mandated by South Carolina law when diving in state waters.
Although when being displayed it should provide somewhat of a warning to other boaters in the area to the presence of divers in the water  From personal experience I can tell you that some persons simply have no idea of its meaning or just to asinine to care.
As we have had many times when boaters simply pass between a buoy displaying the diver down flag and our boat. Less than 25 feet from boat properly flying a diver down each flag . This flag is more recognizable to inland / recreational boaters than the "Code A" which should also be used. The State Statute is listed below.
Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft
SECTION 50-5-15. Definitions.
SECTION 50-5-110. Use of poison, explosive or bang stick to take marine resources; penalty.
It is unlawful to use poison, an explosive, or a bang stick or similar device in state waters to take marine resources. A person who violates this section by use of poison or an explosive other than a bang stick or similar device is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days and must have his saltwater privileges suspended for twelve months. A person who violates this section by use of a bang stick or similar device is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days and must have his saltwater privileges suspended for twelve months.


CHAPTER 21
EQUIPMENT AND OPERATION OF WATERCRAFT
SECTION 50-21-87. Operation of vessel prohibited within fifty feet of vessel displaying diver down flag; diving prohibited within fifty feet of vessel whose occupant is fishing.
(A) A person may not operate a vessel within fifty feet of another vessel when a diver is displaying a diver down flag (red with a diagonal white stripe) to mark the location of the diver. When the flag is being displayed in a water body too narrow to allow passage of another vessel other than within fifty feet, a vessel operator may proceed only past the displayed flag at a no-wake speed and allowing as much clearance between his vessel and the displayed flag as is safe and practical.
(B) A person may not engage in diving activities within fifty feet of a vessel whose occupant is fishing.
(C) A person does not violate this section if he fishes or displays a dive flag in an area before another person subsequently engages in diving activities or operates a vessel within fifty feet of a displayed dive flag.
You can help protect
South Carolina's natural resources!
If you see violations of wildlife, boating, or litter laws.
Please call
1-800-922-5431
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