Crew member arrested for alleged sexual assault on cruise ship

Dec 15, 2017

A female crew member was allegedly sexually violated by her colleague onboard the Holland America Line cruise ship ms Noordam. The police arrested a 33-year-old man who had carried out the assault when the vessel docked at Port Chalmers, New Zealand on December 12.

The man who is also a crewmember has been charged with violating a woman for rape and unlawful sexual connection.Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment. Police authorities said the man and the victim were known to each other. 

A spokesperson for Holland America Line, which operates the cruise ship, said no guests were involved in the alleged incident.

Maritime Herald has contacted Holland America Line about the incident and received the following statement: 

“On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (NZDT) a male crew member allegedly sexually assaulted a female crewmember aboard the *Noordam*. Following an investigation by local police in Port Chalmers, New Zealand, he was arrested. The female crewmember is receiving the appropriate care and support.

Holland America Line has extensive programs, policies, and training in place to ensure a safe working environment onboard and we take these allegations very seriously.  We perform careful screening of all our employees that includes a required police clearance from the country of origin for nearly all crewmembers before they can work onboard our ships.”

The vessel was carrying about 1900 passengers and 800 crew members was enroute from Akaroa when it was detained at Port Chalmers until further investigation. Later in the evening, the vessel was allowed to set sail. The arrested man is due to appear in Dunedin District Court on Wednesday.