Vessel Owners Must Report Harassment, Coast Guard Says

Image: U.S. Coast Guard.

Owners, masters or managing operators of a vessel are now required to report complaints or incidents of harassment and sexual harassment and assault to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Coast Guard Investigative Service Director Jeremy Gauthier.

In a March 1 Marine Safety Information Bulletin Gauthier said recent law changes mandate that the vessel’s responsible entity must report misconduct to the Coast Guard. Bystanders, survivors and others would be able to report incidents through a CGIS Tips App or at

There’s also a 24/7 watch that can field sexual misconduct reports through the National Command Center at 202-327-2100.

The reports can be anonymous or attributed, and are sent and reviewed by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and investigated.

“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,” Gauthier said. “The Coast Guard is committed to investigating and pursuing appropriate enforcement actions for all reports of sexual misconduct on U.S. flagged vessels.”

By Karen Robes Meeks