yellow flag

18th July 2008, 15:28
I watched the p&o aurora dock in southampton this morning. she was showing the usual flags ie pilot on board etc. however she was showing a plain yellow flag. I had looked on the web site and they says it mean i request.
it seem strange as ventura came in just before her and she was not showing the yellow flag.
can anyone help?.
thank you

18th July 2008, 15:31
Q, "My vessel is healthy and I request free pratique"
It always used to be flown, but signal flags are not flown as often as they once were, which is the most likely reason.

18th July 2008, 16:28
thank you for your reply. it is the first time i have seen this. i have seen aurora come in before and this is the first time i ve seen her fly this flag.
i had asked on another shipping forum and one reply state it mean there had been death or injury on board?.
But i think i will goo with yours sugestion.
once again thank you

18th July 2008, 16:31
Free Partique is correct answer as I know it. In many African ports it is an automatic "fine" if not flown on entry.

18th July 2008, 17:23
Hi Panasonic

As others have said 'Q' alone in the International Code is to show that all aboard the ship are healthy.

More than 40 years ago (when such flag signals were a genuinely useful communication) I arrived in Bombay from the Far East as 3/0 of P&O's 'Canton' when we had to fly 'QL' (jokingly said to stand for Quite Lousy).
We had had an outbreak of smallpox among the Tourist Class passengers. We carried 2 surgeons who had contained things. The Indian quartermaster on my watch assured me that it could be resolved by enough cigarettes and Cadbury's chocolate and indeed the Port Health Officer soon left the ship suspiciously more laden than he had been and we moved to our berth.

It is just as well that smallpox is pretty well eliminated from the world today.


Tony Breach
18th July 2008, 21:03
iFlown from a cruise ship, international code flag "Q" probably means that all those passengers who contracted norovirus have accepted a free cruise as a condition of not talking to the press.

One wonders why a ship is required to have a de-rat certificate & a maritime declaration of health but is not required to prove that there are no nasty communicable diseases on board.

20th July 2008, 18:51
I have only just seen this post.

On Canberra for example I often had a child with measles in my hospital. Port health came aboard usually with the pilot to make sure that we had the situation under control. I then rang the bridge to inform them they could proceed into port. I think we also flew the yellow quarantine flag for immigration purposes etc when arriving at the first Australian port for example where immigration came aboard checking documentation or patients before allowing us in. This was often a busy time for us in the medical department especially if crew injections were due. However, I am not an expert on flags, my job was to inform the bridge if one of the patients in my Crew & Isolation Hospital was affected. They then acted by flying the appropriate flag.