The overall aim of any diver location aid is to promote recovery. Any location device that can consistently and reliably promote the recovery of an in-water diver would be an asset in those instances when divers find themselves for whatever reasons, separated from their diving platform.
A wide range of location aids are frequently used by a large number of recreational and commercial divers. This study assessed the performance limitations of a diverse range of these location aids under an extensive range of environmental conditions. The relocation distances of these devices were significantly influenced by sea state, light intensity and elevation of the observer above sea level. An additional factor to be considered is the ability of an individual observer to relocate these devices. No one location aid is suitable for all types of diving operations, and a combination of location aids should always be considered.
Of the location aids that were trialed, a folding divers flag with a day-glow yellow pennant was considered to be an exceptional location aid. This flag was highly conspicuous under a wide range of environmental conditions to all observers and was considered by far the most reliable and cost effective location aid available for divers.