The Coast Guard has released Marine Safety Information Bulletin 01-23 “Reporting sexual Misconduct on U.S. vessels” to emphasize the Coast Guards commitment to investigating and pursuing appropriate enforcement actions for all reports of sexual misconduct on U.S. flagged vessels.
Sexual misconduct that occurs onboard U.S. flagged vessels harms mariners, interrupts safe operations, and often leads to accidents, lost careers, and a lifetime of trauma for the survivors who endure the abuse. This MSIB supersedes the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy’s MSIB 11-21 “Reporting Sexual Assaults on U.S. Vessels” issued on December 16, 2021.
Recent changes to the law now require the responsible entity of a vessel, defined as the owner, master, or managing operator, to report any complaint or incident of harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual assault to the Coast Guard that violates company policy. To help facilitate reporting, the Coast Guard has consolidated reporting for all types of sexual misconduct and established multiple reporting options as detailed below.
The reporting options include a CGIS Tips App, and/or the email address [email protected] which can be used by all reporting sources, including bystanders and survivors, who have access to a smart phone or the internet. The reports, which can be anonymous or for attribution, are received and reviewed by the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS). An investigation will be initiated for all reports received and someone will provide follow-up communications with all reporting sources who provide contact information. The Coast Guard also maintains a 24/7 watch, which can field reports of sexual misconduct via the National Command Center (NCC) phone number at 202-372-2100. CGIS will leverage all available resources to immediately initiate a criminal investigation for a sexual crime occurring on a U.S. flagged vessel anywhere in the world. The Coast Guard will respond to any reports of sexual misconduct with trained investigators and will hold offenders accountable through criminal prosecution and/or actions against U.S. Coast Guard issued merchant mariner credentials (MMCs).
The CGIS Tips App can be downloaded from a mobile provider’s marketplace using the following QR code:
If the responsible entity in charge of a U.S. flagged vessel makes a report, including providing detailed contact information for further follow-up, of a sexual misconduct incident through CGIS Tips, via the CGIS email at [email protected], or the NCC’s phone line the report will satisfy the reporting requirements of 46 U.S. Code § 10104(a).