Captain suspended after groping accusation

Captain Mark Stinziano, when sailing as chief mate on the Maersk Idaho (IMO 9193264), has been found by a judge to have behaved “inappropriately” towards a deck cadet on several occasions in 2014 and 2015.

Employed by Maersk’s American subsidiary Maersk Line Ltd, on April 20th the captain was sentenced to 12 months suspension, eight of which were made conditional, after being accused of groping and abusing a deck cadet

According to the judge from the US Coast Guard the captain had groped and grabbed the cadet from behind, by simulating sex on two occasions, by threatening to hit the cadet in the groin, by drawing a penis on his helmet and by demanding , that the cadet called the chief mate “Big Daddy” and himself as “Buttercup”.

The judge said that the behaviour had been inappropriate, but in his eyes the behaviour was not an expression of sexual abuse or sexual assault. The judge defined it instead as “not in accordance with good order, discipline and safety at sea”. Maersk Line Ltd had previously investigated Stinziano after the cadet’s allegations of being abused. This led to the captain being recommended to take a training course.

Stinziano had denied all charges against him, but admitted during the trial that he had a “raw” sense of humour.