Canberra, July 7 (ANI): The spokesperson of the Australian Navy has admitted that the HMAS Success scandal could harm future recruitment efforts of the country's navel forces.
Rear Admiral Steven Gilmore - head of Navy People and Reputation - says the navy was already struggling to meet its recruitment targets and the latest scandal won't help.
"Any allegations of activity which is considered to be inappropriate - and certainly that which has been alleged more recently is in the eyes of the navy abhorrent and therefore totally inappropriate - has an effect on navy's exposure and potentially to recruiting," The Age quoted Rear Admiral Gilmore, as saying.
In May, four sailors aboard the Success were sent home for allegedly staging a contest to see how many women sailors they could bed during an extended sea voyage.
They reportedly detailed their contest in a document called The Ledger, where dollar values were placed on each potential conquest.
The Australian Defence Force Investigative Service is conducting an independent inquiry, while the navy's fleet commander is running a concurrent investigation that is expected to be completed by the end of July.
If the allegations are found to be true, the navy would "take swift and appropriate action to ensure that our people and the public understand that the well-being of our people in uniform is absolutely paramount", Gilmore said.
Rear Admiral Gilmore said the navy's handling of the Success scandal highlighted "that we take respect for the individual and the well-being of all of our people most seriously".
He said any suggestion women weren't welcome in the navy was totally wrong.
Some 60 per cent of the latest batch of officers to graduate from the naval college was women, "the highest level we've ever had", he added. (ANI)