Marine Safety Information Bulletins

MSIB: Reporting sexual assaults on U.S. vessels

The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published Marine Safety Information Bulletin 11-21 “Reporting Sexual Assaults on U.S. Vessels” to emphasize that sexual assault is a crime, and when the assault occurs aboard a U.S. documented vessel, the Coast Guard must be notified.

While the law requires the master or individual in charge of a U.S. documented vessel to make that report, too often sexual assaults go unreported. To overcome this challenge, the Coast Guard encourages all victims and witnesses of sexual assaults onboard U.S. vessels to report directly to the Coast Guard. Reports can be made via phone to the National Command Center at 202-372-2100, which is available 24/7 to field reports that initiate investigations. To encourage more reporting the Coast Guard Criminal Investigative Service (CGIS) has also established a website and mobile app that enables ANYONE to report criminal offenses directly to the Coast Guard. These reports can be made anonymously or with attribution. The Coast Guard will respond to any reports of sexual assault with trained investigators and will hold offenders accountable through criminal prosecution and, or, actions against USCG issued merchant mariner credentials (MMCs).

The CG Tips App can be downloaded from a mobile provider’s marketplace using the following QR code:

CGIS Tips QR code

If the master or individual in charge of a U.S. documented vessel makes an attributed report of a sexual offense through CGIS Tips, including providing detailed contact information for further follow-up, this will satisfy the reporting requirements of 46 U.S. Code § 10104(a). Sexual offenses, which are defined in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 109A, include sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. For more information about CGIS, or to submit a tip via the web, visit: https://www.uscg.mil/Units/Coast-Guard-Investigative-Service/.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.