The United States Merchant Marine Academy has released an update to their sudden announcement last week about suspending the “Sea Year”Shipboard Training Program until further notice.

Information on Sea Year Stand Down
Sea Year is and will remain a core element of the Academy’s academic program, and we are taking action to improve the Midshipman training and experience.

Sea Year is a unique situation for the young men and women of the USMMA, and while the Academy leadership has focused on prevention and response training, and creating a leadership development program to address campus climate issues, there is a need to ensure the safety and mutual respect for all Midshipman on vessels during Sea Year. Thusthe USMMA is standing down from having Midshipmen serve on vessels as part of Sea Year training until adequate measures are instituted that ensure they can work and train in an environment that is both safe and respectful. There is no specific incident prompting this action. Effective learning can only take place when men and women feel safe and secure in a supportive environment.

MARAD is convening a Call-to-Action with the maritime industry to address these issues and begin to develop a comprehensive plan to address these problems throughout the maritime industry. With full engagement from maritime stakeholders we hope to resume Sea Year this summer. We are making every effort to ensure an on-time graduation for any affected students. Sea Year was disrupted for some Midshipman during the 2013 government shutdown, and those affected were able to graduate.

Midshipmen go out to Sea Year in waves and the first group of 33 from the Class of 2019 were scheduled to depart by June 25. These students will remain on campus until the resumption of Sea Year activities. Midshipmen currently at sea will disembark when they reach their next port, and return to their homes to complete their sea year project. The Academy will bear the travel costs.

Read the official statement here


posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee