Working in the North Sea
When you are working in and around the UK, particularly in the North Sea area, you need to be aware that you have to be able to prove all the nights where you are outside the twelve mile limit at midnight. Some people are under the impression that a Discharge Book entry is sufficient for this purpose but I am afraid they couldn't be more wrong.
Also, the Revenue have recently confirmed that the Water and Freeboard Notices are not acceptable as evidence of time outside the twelve mile limit. The problem with these notices is the fact that they only show dates of departure from and return to a port. It does not confirm your time outside the twelve mile limit, which is the crucial detail.
What you need to collect, for every period of service in and around the UK, is a statement, certified by the Captain or Chief Officer, confirming which dates are outside the twelve mile limit during the trip. A number of ships are now geared up to producing a monthly statement confirming the ships days inside and outside the twelve mile limit, which are ideal for confirming your sea service dates to verify your claim.
Following the Pride South America decision, where there is any doubt as to your vessels eligibility to qualify as a vessel the Revenue are now asking to see the Daily Progress reports that specify the precise nature of the vessels work. If your employer is willing it would be very useful if you could obtain from them a statement confirming that the vessel has not undertaken a relevant purpose, in terms of exploration for or exploitation of oil or minerals, AND been stationed for in excess of 120 hours during your period of service on that vessel.