References are always a topic of interest when it comes to the recruitment sector. I frequently have debates with captains, for example, on the value of references and what is more important in a reference: what is said or what is not? However we recently received an email from a recruitment agency, raising a concerning problem pertaining to references.

Dear Rebecca,
I trust you are well?

It has been brought to my attention that an ex-stewardess from M/Y [name has been removed] by the name of Miss [name has been removed] has been circulating a forged written reference that I allegedly wrote.
The document is totally false and she has copied and pasted a version of my signature onto the letter with the yachts stamp to make it look official.
Kind regards.

The above email was sent to recruitment agency Viking Recruitment, whose HR and recruitment director Mark Jaenicke commented: “I think the main thing is to say that a professional recruitment agent will check/verify all references and a crewmember is stupid or desperate to try this.”

Is this something you as a senior crewmember or recruitment agent have come across? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below or email our editor Lulu Trask at