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The stack of a Maersk ship showing the company's star logo. Photo via Maersk

Maersk Tweets Messages Of Support For Midshipman X

John Konrad
Total Views: 2121
October 12, 2021

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, has joined a growing chorus of voices, that are speaking out in support of Midshipman X, the college student the US Merchant Marine Academy who published an allegation that she was raped on one of its ships. The tweets also publicly confirm reporting from yesterday that the company has suspending five officers and crew pending an investigation.

The message was followed up with additional tweets:

Also Read: Rape At Sea – An Open Letter To USMMA Midshipman X

This is the first message from Maersk corporate in Denmark but not the first message in support of Midshipman x. The first such statement was published ten days ago to by the US Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Polly Trottenberg. It reads (in part):

“As we determine the appropriate steps required to increase and ensure the safety of midshipmen, we pledge to listen to and work closely with the entire Kings Point community. We especially on want our students to know that we value their voices and want to make sure they are part of any decisions that could potentially affect our Sea Year training program,”

“To the entire Kings Point community, thank you for remaining a source of strength for our shipmates. We have heard from many of you and know that you have questions and concerns. On behalf of Secretary Buttigieg and the entire Department, we are committed to moving swiftly and resolutely to address sexual assault and harassment, protect and support survivors, and fulfill our deep commitment to the vital work of USMMA.”

Full DOT Statement

The following day, Maersk Line Limited, the US branch of the company which operates US Flagged ships, sent a statement to gCaptain that includes its support of cadets. That statement reads (in part):

The allegations in the posting are very disturbing, and MLL has initiated an investigation in an attempt to identify the vessel and the personnel involved, as well as the relevant facts surrounding the alleged incident. MLL has a strict and explicit zero tolerance policy for assault, harassment or discrimination of any kind, and if the allegations in the posting are confirmed, MLL will ensure there is full accountability. The safety and security of our mariners, including cadets, is of primary importance to MLL, and it is imperative that all mariners are aware of, and are able to utilize, available tools for reporting inappropriate conduct on board our vessels.

Full Maersk Lines Limited Statement

In addition to DOT and Maersk official the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), the oldest maritime trade union in the United States and one of the largest, issued a statement yesterday. Union President Adam Vokac declined to comment on the case that involves four engineering officers who are members of the union. He did, however, released a strong statement of support for Midshipman X and victims of assult.

The allegations brought forward by a USMMA cadet are deeply troubling and should be taken seriously. M.E.B.A. believes sexual assault and sexual harassment is unacceptable in any context and will not be tolerated. M.E.B.A. fully supports a thorough, independent investigation into the matter and is cooperating with the Company regarding such investigation. M.E.B.A. is committed to working with its partners to ensure that our vessels are safe and respectful for all employees.
Adam Vokac
President
Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association

The union of the fifth officer suspended, the ship’s captain, says they are working on a statement but did provide a comment to gCaptain. “The cadet’s report is deeply disturbing,” said Master Mates and Pilots union President Don Marcus. “If true, the accusations are indefensible and outrageous.” Marcus said the union will fully cooperate with federal investigators.

Notably absent is a statment from the US Department of Justice, FBI, or US Coast Guard on if arrests will be made.

Also Read: Rape At Sea – An Open Letter To USMMA Midshipman X

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