Maersk Suspends Five Officers Over Alleged Rape of Cadet Aboard Ship

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The Maersk-operated ship was attacked in 2019 with US officials conducting an open investigation after a student at the US Merchant Marine Academy said he was

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The US Maritime Administration, which oversees the academy, said in a statement that it was aware of the rape allegation and had sent a blog post to the Coast Guard Investigative Service. “We have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and sexual harassment in MMA and the maritime industry,” the statement said.

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Both the Coast Guard and the academy, based in Kings Point, NY, on Long Island outside New York City, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that educates cadets to serve in both military and commercial maritime transport.

People familiar with the matter said the woman was undergoing cadet training on a ship operated by Maersk as part of her studies at the academy in 2019.

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Maersk said she was investigating the woman’s allegations and was cooperating with the academy and government bodies investigating the case. It said that five crew members, including the ship’s captain, would remain under suspension until all investigations were completed and asked to speak to the cadet. The names of the crew members were not released.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened. We take this situation seriously and are disturbed by the allegations made in this anonymous posting, which has recently been brought to our attention,” Bill Woodhorse, CEO of Maersk Line, the company’s US subsidiary, said in a statement. We make every effort to ensure that all of our workplace environments, including ships, are a safe and welcoming workplace and we have launched a top-down investigation.”

The cadet wrote in a blog post published on 27 September that after leaving Middle East port at night on the unnamed Maersk ship, the ship’s engineers forced her to drink shot after shot of heavy alcohol and she went naked the next morning. in a panic.

The post was published by Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy, a non-profit organization that aims to end sexual harassment and harassment on commercial ships. The nonprofit has posted at least 50 allegations of sexual assault or harassment against women who work on ships in recent years. Cadet could not be reached for comment, and the nonprofit said it had no comment other than its own blog post.

The cadet, who says she is now a senior at the academy, wrote in a blog post that she was on her seafaring year, seeking cadets to become naval officers or as licensed sailors on ships carrying cargo and passengers around the world. was required to work. The Academy describes the cadet’s time at sea as “the first real opportunity for self-reliance”.

The shipping industry is highly male, and it is not uncommon for a woman to work for months on a ship among 20 or more male colleagues.

The Academy’s Year of the Marine was suspended in 2016 amid allegations of sexual harassment and harassment of female cadets. The program was reviewed by the Academy and the Maritime Administration. It resumed a year later, when schools and the US government introduced new, zero-tolerance rules for sexual assault. The academy did not respond to requests for comment on whether action was taken against any individuals as part of the review.

In a separate case, the US government paid $1.4 million to settle charges against a former member of the academy’s men’s soccer team who said he was forcibly detained and assaulted in 2016. The Maritime Administration, a sub-agency of the Department of Transportation, did not do so. Accepting or denying wrongdoing in agreement.

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