Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Close Call With Speedboat Highlights The Need For A Dive Flag


A recent video highlights the importance of having redundancy and always being able to deploy a dive marker buoy when diving or spearfishing.

The video was uploaded by Christopher Lastra and taken from his GoPro action camera as he spearfished off Magic Island, Hawaii.

As Lastra’s head breaks the surface, he sees a boat approaching him at speed only feet away. Thankfully, it is a near miss; the only damage is to his fin, which gets shredded.

The accident is a wake-up call since Lastra was diving without a surface buoy and there was no way for the boat’s driver to know he was in the water.

In a post on social media, Lastra commented on the incident, saying:

“My buoy got swept away with the current last week, and I had scheduled to pick one up tonight, however, I went for a short shallow reef dive thinking I’d be OK…Bad decision to dive in high-traffic area. As I was hunting Mu and Uhu, I hear a boat coming. I should have stayed under the water, but shot up to the surface to get eyes on it.”

He added:

“Unfortunately, the boat at that time was already within 5 yards of me and headed straight towards me. I yell ‘whoa’ as I push off the boat to get away from the centre where I knew the propeller would be. Even though boats are supposed to go around the channel marker, I accept 100 per cent responsibility since I wasn’t using a dive buoy.”

You can check out the video of the terrifying incident below.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for