The head of Britain’s Royal Navy said he is “deeply disturbed” by allegations that women divers were harassed and sexually harassed and has ordered an investigation.
The Daily Mail newspaper published former Navy lieutenant Sophie Brook’s claims on Saturday that she faced “a constant campaign of sexual harassment” as well as physical assault. He said the men on the U-boat crews were “like vultures every time a new woman came in.”
Brook alleged that the men maintained a “depth rape list” ranking female partners in the order in which they should be raped in the event of a catastrophic event.
Brook, 30, left the Royal Navy earlier this year and was later given a suspended prison sentence for sharing sensitive information about his submarine’s movements in an email.
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The newspaper quoted another anonymous whistleblower in the navy as saying that women were constantly sexually harassed aboard the submarines.
Women make up around 10% of full-time personnel in the Royal Navy and have been eligible to serve on submarines since 2011.
The head of the navy, adm. Ben Key, said “these allegations are disgusting”.
“Sexual assault and harassment have no place in the Royal Navy and will not be tolerated,” he said in a statement.
“I have instructed my senior team to investigate these allegations thoroughly. Anyone found guilty will be held accountable for their actions regardless of their rank or status,” Key said.
The Ministry of Defense did not comment on specific allegations, but said it accepted that more needs to be done about inappropriate behaviour. He said he is improving reporting mechanisms for sex crimes.