Two American security workers have been found dead after an apparent heroin overdose in the same cabin on the Maersk Alabama, the ship made famous by the Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips in 2013.
Seychelles police identified them on Thursday as Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy – both former Navy SEALs. The men, both 44, were found dead on Tuesday.
Officials say they found needles and heroin inside cabin where the two ex-special forces soldiers were bunking.
According to CNN a government official, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said the presence of drug traces and paraphernalia ‘would suggest that their deaths were a result of drug overdose.’
Drug overdose: Jeffrey Reynolds, 44, (left) was one of two men found dead inside a cabin aboard the notorious Maersk Alabama surrounded by heroin and needles
Special forces: Mark Kennedy, 44, was a member of the US Navy SEALS and is seen here exhibiting his marksmanship skills
Family: This is Mark Kennedy and his wife Julia with their son – at home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mark Reynolds (pictured with his wife, Julia) and Kennedy worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. The company’s president, Tom Rothrauff, said the men were former Navy SEALs
Work: Mark Kennedy was employed by Trident Group onboard the ship, which had been hijacked by pirates in 2009 and later dramatised on screen
Shipping firm, A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the two men were found dead on board the vessel in the afternoon of February 18 in Port of Victoria.
The Maersk Alabama was targeted by Somali pirates in an attempted hijacking off the east coast of Africa in 2009. The 2013 film Captain Phillips is based on the incident.
In their statement Maersk gave no details about how the two men had died. ‘The cause of the death for both men is part of the ongoing investigation, but it was not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel’.
However, officials later revealed that drugs are believed to have played a part.
Earlier on Thursday, police spokesman Jean Toussaint, noted that officials were awaiting autopsies and said, ‘As far as I know there is no evidence of physical trauma’ on either man’s body.
The Maersk Alabama has since left Port Victoria, the Seychelles capital, said Kevin Speers, a senior director for Maersk to CNN on Thursday.
Mystery deaths: Two former Navy SEALS have died aboard the Maersk Alabama on Tuesday as it was docked in the Seychelles
Real life: Captain Richard Phillips, (right), master of the cargo ship Maersk-Alabama, who had been captured by pirates, stands alongside United States Navy Commander Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia in 2009
The U.S. Coast Guard has said it also is investigating the deaths.
Reynolds and Kennedy worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. The company’s president, Tom Rothrauff, confirmed to CNN the men were former Navy SEALs.
‘It’s bizarre. Of course, it’s a shock. They’re all great guys,’ Rothrauff said. ‘I’m absolutely clueless as to what happened.’
Mark Kennedy is married to Julia and has a son and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Kevin N. Speers, a senior director for Maersk Line, said in a statement their deaths were ‘not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel.’
The Maersk Alabama is a Norfolk, Va.-based container ship that provides feeder service to the east coast of Africa and employs security contractors to provide anti-piracy services.
The two men who were found dead worked for a Virginia Beach, Va.-based maritime security firm, The Trident Group.
On Thursday, the Navy confirmed that Kennedy belonged to the SEALs, an elite unit of the military’s special operations forces who are sometimes called upon to combat piracy.
Hit movie: Tom Hanks in his starring role as Captain Philips in the 2013 Paul Greengrass movie which dramatized the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 by Somalian pirates
Famous in film: The Maersk Alabama was targeted by Somali pirates in an attempted hijacking off the east coast of Africa in 2009. The 2013 film “Captain Phillips” is based on the incident
In 2009, Navy SEALs aboard the USS Bainbridge shot and killed three of the pirates who were holding Captain Richard Phillips in a lifeboat, bringing the five-day hijacking standoff involving the Maersk Alabama to an end.
The Captain Phillips movie starring Tom Hanks as Capt. Richard Phillips was released last year.
Kennedy, whose home of record with the Navy was Baton Rouge, Louisiana enlisted in 1995 and completed his final tour of duty in 2008, according to a summary of his record, sent in an email by Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauryn Dempsey.
Kennedy was assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team, according to the record. Virginia Beach serves as the home of the Navy’s East Coast SEAL teams.
Former military personnel frequently provide security on board ships sailing through the waters off Somalia to provide security against pirate attacks. Kennedy and Reynolds boarded the ship Jan. 29, Speers said.
The Alabama transports food aid to East Africa in support of the U.S. government’s ‘Food for Peace’ program, according to Maersk Line. Crew members also help support the Bee Hive Children’s Home in Mombasa, Kenya.
Several crew members who were aboard the ship when it was hijacked in 2009 are suing Maersk Line and Mobile, Ala.-based Waterman Steamship Corp.
Nine crew members in the lawsuit, filed in Alabama in 2012, say they suffered physical and emotional injuries after Somali pirates boarded. Some crew members were held at gunpoint with Phillips; others hid in an engine room.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564145/Two-ex-Navy-SEALS-protecting-Captain-Philips-ship-die-mysterious-circumstances-no-sign-physical-trauma.html#ixzz2txSiSp5R
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