The United States Merchant Marine Academy released a statement Thursday, suspending training on working merchant vessels until further notice.
While the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) have made consistent efforts to address sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus over the last few years, we’ve grappled with appropriate means of extending these efforts during “Sea Year” when the Midshipmen are off campus training on working U.S. merchant marine vessels. The safety of these young women and men are our highest priority, and the USMMA is standing down having Midshipmen serve on these vessels until it is assured that their training will be carried out in a safe environment.
On June 24th, MARAD is convening a Call-to-Action with the maritime industry to address these issues, as well as their overall safety, as we begin to develop a comprehensive plan that protects the Midshipmen.
We are making every effort to ensure an on-time graduation for any affected students.
According to MARAD spokeswoman Kim Strong, no incident spurred this action, and no further explanation has been offered at this time. Midshipmen currently at sea, will disembark at their next port of call, and return home.
posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee