The Maersk Line Ltd captain at risk of losing his licence will return to sea following a short suspension after a ruling found his behaviour was not sexual misconduct.

Mark Stinziano, who was accused of groping and abusing a US Merchant Marine Academy deck cadet while serving as chief mate aboard the 4,658-teu Maersk Idaho (built 2000), will spend four months suspended and another eight suspended on probation.

Coast Guard judge Michael Devine described Stinziano’s conduct towards the deck cadet as “hazing” and done without malice, but ultimately inappropriate.