Maersk is taking action as a rape case involving a cadet from US Merchant Marine Academy serving her year at sea has attracted media attention around the globe.
Splash reported on Friday how US authorities are investigating allegations of the rape of a then 19-year-old member of the class of 2022 at the US Merchant Marine Academy while serving her year at sea onboard a Maersk vessel.
The alleged victim wrote extensively about the incident in a post carried by Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy, a non-profit legal advocacy organisation fighting for the rights of mariners, in which she said a first engineer in his 60s raped her after an extraordinary drinking session onboard involving many senior officers. The whistleblower claimed that in her class of 50 women, she knows of at least five other women who were raped during their sea year.
Maersk has since taken action, identifying the ship and suspending five officers as it investigates the case. The information Maersk obtains in its investigation will likely be handed over to the police, officials at the Danish carrier have said.
The US Department of Transportation and Maritime Administration has also started an investigation into the incident and the allegation that other cadets have been sexually assaulted both at sea and on the premises of the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in New York state.
There have been previous incidents of sexual harassment at the academy including a high profile case five years ago and a $1.4m settlement last year for another victim.