The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy reinstated a student program for three commercial shipping lines after it was suspended over reports of sexual misconduct.
Sea Year, a program for students living and training aboard federal and commercial vessels, will resume for Maersk Line Limited, Crowley Maritime Corporation and American Presidents Line in March, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) said in a Feb. 15 press release.
The program was suspended in June 2016 amid the sexual misconduct allegations.
The companies agreed to follow new policies with regards to academy students, called midshipmen, including enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and sexual harassment, having vetted mentors for students, conducting regular training for ship crew and forbidding romantic relationships between ship crew and students, the release said.
The requirements will be reviewed after six months and then reviewed annually after that.
The program turns out about 50 new licensed hires to the commercial shipping line industry per year, which is about 25 percent of the program’s yearly graduates, according to data provided to Bloomberg BNA from a MARAD spokesperson and a MARAD report to Congress. 450 students participate in the program per academic year, the data said.
“We are pleased to be one of the first three companies to meet the MARAD’s Sea Year requirements,” Katherine Mosquera, strategic communications manager at Maersk Line North America, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. “Maersk is committed to providing a positive, productive, and supportive environment where employees are valued and treated with the upmost respect and uprightness.”
Maersk is the world’s largest shipping line by capacity.
The administration is reviewing applications from other companies that applied for eligibility to host Sea Year midshipmen under the new federal requirements, MARAD’s release said. The full list of requirements for shipping lines wanting to participate in Sea Year is available here.
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