Monday, July 15, 2024

DEMA: Masks Are Now Required On U.S. Dive Boats


If you’re on a dive boat operating off the USA, from now on you’ll need to wear a mask to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

A new presidential executive order mandates that masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels, including ferries.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new rule requiring all persons traveling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask.

According to the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association:

“DEMA has learned that this mandate includes all commercial vessels used for dive charters or other dive-related activities.”

Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin outlining these requirements.

The bulletin requires U.S. ship operators to use “best efforts” to ensure that any person on the boat wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. Depending on the circumstances, best efforts may include:

  • Boarding only those persons who wear masks.
  • Instructing persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask on the conveyance and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law.
  • Monitoring persons on board the conveyance for anyone who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such persons.
  • At the earliest opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply.
  • Providing persons with prominent and adequate notice to facilitate awareness and compliance of the requirement of this Order to wear a mask.
  • Best practices may include, if feasible, advanced notifications on digital platforms, such as on apps, websites, or email; posted signage in multiple languages with illustrations; printing the requirement on transit tickets; or other methods as appropriate.

If you have a question about the notice, you can email the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance at

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.