A 19-year-old girl cadet has recently reported that she was sexually assaulted by the 1st Assistant Engineer while serving her year at sea onboard a Maersk vessel, as a consequence of which the US Merchant Marine Academy is facing a tough time with the questions incoming.
The girl cadet, who was sent for her first sail after the plebe year, mentioned in her blog on a website named Maritime Legal Aid and Advocacy (MLAA):
“Around 6 or 7 AM I woke up in my bed completely naked and began freaking out. My clothes were all over the floor and they were soaking wet, I had a massive hangover, there was blood on my sheets, and I knew immediately that I had been raped. I was a virgin and had been saving myself, and as soon as I woke up I could feel that I was very sore and knew exactly what had happened.”
She further added in her blog that on the morning before she was raped, she didn’t wake up with any desire to drink alcohol or any desire to get completely wasted. She didn’t wake up wanting to lose her virginity to a gross old man who was more than 40 years older than her and who had been sexually harassing her. He did those things to a 19-year-old cadet against her will. And she was too young and too powerless to stop him, and too afraid to report him.
The US Department of Transportation and Maritime Administration is investigating 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. Maersk has also begun its investigation and a review of its policies for cadets serving onboard its ships.
Previously too, there have been incidents of sexual abuse at the academy, which includes a high profile case five years back and another case last year, which was settled for $1.4 million.
(1)19 Year Old Engine Cadet Raped At Sea: US Merchant Marine Academy Faces Questions|marinemonks.com
(2)I Was a 19-Year-Old Virgin When I Was Raped by a 60+ Year-Old 1st Engineer Aboard a Maersk Ship During Sea Year. I Know Several Other Current USMMA Students Who Were Also Raped During Sea Year|Maritime Legal Aid and Advocacy