Maritime medal awarded to sailor who championed LGBT+ rights

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09/03/2021

Second Officer, Paul Owen, is the first recipient of the Merchant Navy Medal for championing LGBT+ rights. The 53-year-old from Blackpool helped to create the Pride in Maritime network while he was seconded from the Royal Flees Auxiliary to umbrella body Maritime UK. The network educates and enables individuals and companies to learn more and embrace the LGBT+ community. The network educates and enables individuals and companies to embrace the LGBT+ community. Owen said he was “deeply humbled and surprised to receive this honour”. “Having suffered a degree of bullying early in my career because I identify as LGBT+, I made the conscious decision to offer support to fellow seafarers who were experiencing difficulties because of their sexuality. “This has been on an informal basis through social media and company forums but going forward I will be appointed as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s LGBT+ champion when I return to the RFA this autumn.” 16 other mariners were awarded by the DfT for outstanding service by Merchant Navy seafarers.

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