Email To The Scoop News – Charter boat decides to go chumming, right where we were diving………..
We had an encounter with a local charter fishing boat today that was awkward and a little scary!
We used our GPS to find the spot we planned to go diving. There were NO boats at the spot. We circled around and used the fish finder to locate the spot and dropped our buoy to mark the spot. We put our dive flag UP. Then we circled the buoy to anchor near our buoy. A charter fishing boat came flying up, stopped right by our buoy and our boat.
At this point it was awkward because clearly we were getting ready to dive and fishing boats are not supposed to crowd a dive boat. The boat was so close you could talk without having to raise your voice. One of the guys on our boat politely said “Hey, we are getting ready to dump divers in”. The charter captain rudely hollered back “Well WE are getting ready to chum for shark”
We were taken aback at his attitude and one of the guys on our boat said “Really? It’s like that? We have our dive flag up.” The charter captain hollered back “Try me!”
Honestly… we were floored! He had a GIANT wrap on his boat naming his company. His demeanor was unwarranted and totally aggressive! It was shocking.
I decided to skip the dive for fear of being caught in fishing line/hooks. The guys went in and as their bubbles got closer to the fishing boat (which was REALLY close) some of the people on the boat were pointing, saying there are divers under the boat. I suspect the captain might have been worried about something happening to his anchor line (haha… Nothing happened). He pulled his anchor and left in a huff.
Seriously though… I would think a local charter captain would know the rules and know that if a dive flag is on a spot you don’t choose that spot to fish. When we go out if we see people fishing a spot in the gulf we move on. There are a million spots to fish or dive. It was just uncalled for and uncool. I can’t imagine being on a paid charter and having a captain act in that manner!
So…. I must say we CANNOT recommend xxx xxxxxx Charters. The guy was rude to us for no reason and seemingly doesn’t respect the laws or common courtesy that most local boaters display.
Here are the rules about dive flags/buoys:
Boaters must make reasonable efforts to stay at least 300 feet away from divers-down warning devices in open water and at least 100 feet away in rivers, inlets, or navigation channels. Boaters approaching divers-down warning devices closer than 300 feet in open water and 100 feet in rivers, inlets, or navigation channels must slow down to idle speed.
Divers-must make a reasonable effort to stay within 100 feet of a divers-down flag or a buoy within rivers, inlets, or navigation channels and within 300 feet on open water.
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