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My first negative encounter with divers

Took some family members out to try for some snapper yesterday. Went out the Palm Beach Inlet and anchored up on what looked to be some promising bottom in ~60ft.

We are there chumming and fishing for a bit pulling up some grunts and small YTs when a Commercial Dive boat comes straight for us. This A hole pulls up to within 10 yds of my starboard bow and drops off some divers. Come on now, you really need to get that close to an anchored vessel. My son was going for the 6oz weights to throw at them but I stopped him. He drifts off a bit then comes right back within 10yards again to drop off more divers. This time I made a nice chumball and hucked it at them, unfortunately it came apart and fell a bit short. The red float ball from the 2nd group came close enough to my boat I could have free gaffed it.

He did not come back close again after that but it really pizzes me off. I always respect the diver down flags when I am running and avoid the area they are diving. They should respect the area when a boat is anchored up.

Another thing...I thought it was illegal for a boat to be running a dive flag when they have no divers in the water. This boat came running out the inlet with his dive flag up.

BTW the boat's name was Siara or Siana, something like that, out of Singer Island.

On another note, what is the deal with the PBSO boats out with only volunteers on board? I saw some knucklehead running on plane with 2 kids 7-8yo sitting on the T top. Mind you not a top with a tower or anything, just a standard fiberglass top. They were on their knees hunched over hanging on to the front of the top. They went right by the PBSO boat. I stopped the PBSO boat and they said they could not do anything about it. Come on now, why are you even in the boat if you can not stop a dangerous practice :rolleyse

Replies

  • greg4mtgsgreg4mtgs Posts: 51 Deckhand
    Have had it happen in Boynton while we were diving a spot. Cattle boat comes in and drops a slew of people right on top of us. Comes in way closer than he should when we had our diver down flag up. These guys have their spots and they apparently think they own them. They don't want to spend the gas taking their cattle to another spot
  • reelpleasurereelpleasure Posts: 754 Officer
    I had the same thing happen to me last Saturday. I hardly ever anchor, but my grandkids were in town and wanted to bottom fish. We were anchored when one the dive boats comes about 100 yards South of me and starts dropping divers. Two divers come up within 20 feet of my boat. There was no dive flag anywhere around as the boat that dropped them of was now a 1/2 mile away.

    The only satisfaction we got was seeing the look on thier faces, as they drifted by, when we all jumped up on the bow and all started pointing to a 10 foot hammerhead that had been cutting off our fish. They were flipping out and I would of loved to had a camera.
  • Totally HookedTotally Hooked Posts: 599 Officer
    This is only your first encounter. You need to spend more time on the water.
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  • TrafficTraffic Posts: 127 Deckhand
    If you bottom fish out of Palm Beach on weekends this is routine action. Why they don't go to a boat free spot I'll never understand. It doesn't disrupt our fishing so it doesn't bother me. The divers want to drift down the ledges which is also where we want to fish. But some of the dive boat operators do act like they own the place (along with some of the commercial kingfish guys).

    Just a few weeks ago some divers went right under us and their float got hung up on our anchor line in 70 feet north of the inlet. It took a minute to free it but no big deal.

    When we are anchored up we have had much closer calls with boats that are drift fishing and not watching out for boats that are anchored up in their path. If they have stereos blasting they don't hear your horn until they are right on top of you. I could touch some of these boats with a gaff by the time they cranked up and moved over.
  • barryrodbarryrod Posts: 62 Deckhand
    I usually fish during the week when possible, and even if on the weekend I usually run and gun for Dolphin or drift from the ledge in, north of the inlet. Just wanted to get on the YTs for the women to have some fun.
  • StuStu Posts: 165 Deckhand
    A petition needs to be submitted requesting a law change that would prohibit any vessel from anchoring and/or allowing divers to enter the water within 300 feet of any other vessel. This corresponds to the distance non dive vessels must stay clear of those displaying flags, as well as the distance from the dive boat divers are supposed to stay within.

    Do we have someone who could properly draft and submit such a proposal? I'd like to think we could bury the recipient with signatures.

    Start with Florida, and a heads up to forums/communities in others areas of the county could lead to a petition to the USCG.
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  • MonomanMonoman Posts: 977 Officer
    I find that if you start taking pictures of them they tend to back off. You could probably argue that they are harassing you while fishing which is illegal.
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  • treetopflyntreetopflyn Posts: 3,937 Officer
    Monoman wrote: »
    I find that if you start taking pictures of them they tend to back off.

    Yep the camera works every time.
  • GTSRGTSR Posts: 750 Officer
    Third vote for the camera, make sure to get your boat in the pic for perspective, otherwise you could be thought to have zoomed in...
  • J-RodJ-Rod Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    That petition would really mess up divers in the Fl. Keys where it is a common preactice to dive around each other. Petitions could have a negative impact. We will "law" ourselves to death.
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