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Maersk continues investigation into sexual assault claims

The investigation launched after a student recounted her story of being sexually assaulted by a captain on board a Maersk vessel is still underway, and a statement is to be expected soon, the carrier says.

Photo: PER FOLKVER

Maersk continues its investigation into the claims of a sexual assault that transpired on board a Maersk vessel.

It is well over a month since the incident was first reported when the victim shared her story of being raped on a Maersk vessel. Five officers remain suspended, the carrier tells ShippingWatch.

A public statement can be expected as soon as the investigation is over, Maersk tells ShippingWatch.

According to Maersk, the five naval officers are still suspended and will remain so until the investigation is concluded.

Maersk tells ShippingWatch that once the investigation is over, the results will also be shared with the US government.

Various recommendations were discussed for potential inclusion in the public action plan to be provided to Congress before the resumption of Sea Year.

Maersk

Several meetings have been hosted this month to discuss the topic. On November 5, a roundtable was held to discuss the situation.

"The Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Maritime Administrator, the Superintendent of the US, Merchant Marine Academy and various other government officials hosted a roundtable discussion with a wide spectrum of stakeholders to address the ongoing challenges of sexual assault and harassment in the maritime sector, how this affects training, and to seek input and assistance to eradicate these challenges," Maersk tells ShippingWatch.

Five days later, on November 10, another meeting was held with attendance from various representatives of US flag industries. The meeting was hosted by the US Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration's Shipboard Climate Compliance Team (SCCT).

"Various recommendations were discussed for potential inclusion in the public action plan to be provided to Congress before the resumption of Sea Year. The SCCT was tasked with evaluating and prioritizing these recommendations, and presenting a draft plan back to industry for review," Maersk states.

Deeply shocked

On September, 27, the student shared her account on NGO Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy's blog.

The story sent shock waves through the industry and received lots of attention. It was on an anonymous blog post that the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) student recounted her story in great detail.

"We're deeply shocked. The way the incident is being described is not only contrary to ordinary decency, but also in particular to our values and what Maersk stands for. Such events can under no circumstances take place, not on our ships or anywhere else in the company," The company is disturbed by the information that has been revealed in the case," said Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Palle Laursen to Danish media Berlingske at the time the news broke.

Maersk naval officers suspended following rape accusation

Lloyd's to investigate allegations of sexual harassment

Extent of sexual harassment on Norwegian vessels unknown 

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