A few months ago I decided to resume my career working on boats after 19 years away from the water. Back in the day I had an AB Unlimited ticket. At that time I turned in two sea service letters from companies I worked for totaling well over 1080 days. Both compainies are now long gone and out of business. I sent a request to the USCG for sea time records the first week of May. After two and a half months, I finally recieved my much anticipated sea time records today.
One two week certificate for one hitch was all they could find after two and a half months at archives! …Man am I pissed. To make it worse I decided to take a leap of faith and go ahead with all of the required courses for my AB Unlimited, STCW, and 100GT Master while I was waiting for my sea time records! Being out of work and trying to cut time off this whole process made it seem the right thing to do.
One last hope I have is that they sent a request down to Texas where there are supposedly records from New Orleans REC that were damaged by Katrina A private company was contracted to freeze dry the damaged records and go thru them and salvage what they could by putting them on a disc? It will be about 30 days to see if anything is left down there. Man talk about a long shot! Having spent several thousand dollars to get all my schooling and testing done, phyisical, drug test references ect. Now I am being left at the dock with my bags in hand!
It looks like I can still get my AB unlimited because it is a reissue and I have completed all the courses to do so, sea time is not required as they will give me credit for what I had back then.
However I am being told, [U]even though you have aqquired sea time in the past you have to provide proof of it now (in paper form) in order for it to be of use on a new issue 100GT Master License! .[/U] They will not allow it to be used for the Master license because someone at the REC center in New Orleans back in the day may have made a mistake!
I am totally stuck on this and am feeling like the USCG is wrong to take this appraoch if it is indeed the final postion. You will give credit for a reissue based on the good faith asumption that the paperwork was done right back then, but now that is not acceptable when it applies to the license! [B]WTF![/B] It will take me years to get the sea time worked back up, mean while I loses thousands and thousands of dollars in income over the next few years.
Thank God for this forum, at least I have a place to vent. If there are any ideas or ways to pull a rabbit out of the hat, I am all ears!
Thank you for listening