Top tips on getting a valid Sea Service Testimonial before the end of the season

September officially marks the wind-down towards the end of the summer and many crew are starting to think about their next step for the winter season. If you’re on a seasonal contract, have decided to leave your current vessel or would like to update or record your sea service for the season, it’s time to start thinking about getting a Sea Service Testimonial.

Kim Llorente, one of our PYA advisors and former crew member, has put together some top tips to requesting testimonials which will be valid for future employment:

Why ask for a testimonial?

  • If you’ve only been hired on a seasonal contract, or would like to leave your current vessel, it’s a good idea to get proof of your sea service before you leave. 

  • Employers can refuse to give you a reference, but they have to give you a Sea Service Testimonial if you request it.

  • This will validate your sea time on that vessel and is a credible reference when looking for employment on other vessels in the future. 

Who can provide a testimonial?

  • Testimonials should be signed by the vessel’s Master, Owner or Manager. For Masters looking to get a testimonial, only the vessel’s Owner or Manager can sign - self-declarations aren’t valid.

Important details to remember 

  • It’s best to use the PYA’s testimonial template as this includes all the required information. 

  • Remember to always put down start and end dates. This is important even if you are still on board, or on a non-seasonal contract.

  • Make sure the dates on your testimonials don’t overlap. If your employment is continuous, the new testimonial should start after the last entry in your SRB or after your last testimonial. If the dates on your testimonials overlap in any way you will be asked to submit new correct testimonials.

  • If you are a full member of the PYA, we don’t need the original testimonials. Upload digital copies to your PYA profile.

  • Remember to check your calculations and add your numbers up. Your recorded sea service should never exceed your employment period.

If you have any doubts or questions about testimonials or sea service, please read the guidelines on our website.