Wednesday 2 July 2008

What about restrictions regarding recreational scuba diving in Greece?

The new recreational scuba diving law now permits diving everywhere in Greece, except in the following instances:

• diving in shipping lanes or anchorages

• areas where naval and/or armed forces carry out exercises or other activities

• areas where hired motorboats can travel 100 meters or less from their starting point

• areas where prohibitions have been imposed by legislation that designates marine areas as protected, or by the administrative and operational regulations or plans of competent administrative authorities

• where there are underwater cables or systems installed by utility companies

• wherever the Coastguard Authority, in a duly justified decision, imposes prohibitions for reasons of safety of ships or personnel

• recreational dives, where not conducted under the services of a Recreational Services Diving Provider, are prohibited from one hour after sunset and up to one hour before sunrise

• scuba diving is prohibited to persons who do not have a certification recognised by an Organisation under article 3 and not under the services of a Recreational Diving Service Provider.
Organisations currently recognised include: ANDI, PADI, IANTD, The Greek Diving Federation, NAUI & SSI

Scuba divers are also forbidden to:

• fish with a spear gun or other means; collect, disturb or destroy individual members of micro-flora and micro-fauna, flora and fauna or commit any acts which might alter or corrupt ecological interaction in the eco-system of the area

• carry underwater fishing equipment or fish or other animal or vegetable marine organisms on a ship or vessel which accompanies them

• haul up, transport or photograph artefacts of archaeological or other value found in the deep

• take photographs or videos in areas where diving is prohibited unless there is written permission from the competent ministry

• dive without being accompanied by another diver

• all divers are to inform the competent Coastguard Authority immediately and by all possible means if they locate objects of archaeological or police interest or shipwrecks

• flag Alpha as described in Chapter 11 of the International 1969 Signals Code, or the internationally recognised diving flag (red with a diagonal white line) is to be flown from the diver’s boat

• divers who venture further than a horizontal distance of 50 meters from the boat which is accompanying them, or who dive from the shore, are obliged to display an orange-coloured float on the surface, with the special sign or internationally recognised flag mentioned in the previous paragraph and all vessels are to remain more than 100 meters from the location of the special sign or internationally recognised flag

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