Two private security contractors were found dead on the Maersk Alabama, the vessel made famous in the 2013 feature length movie ‘Captain Philips’.
Mark Daniel Kennedy, 45, and Jeffery Keith Reynolds, 44, were found dead when the Maersk Alabama made dock at Victoria, Seychelles, February 18th.
Both were members of Virginia-based private maritime security company, Trident Group.
Founded by former U.S. Navy SEALS in 2000, the company is responsible for providing security personnel to high risk ships as part of anti-piracy protection plans to safeguard both crew and cargo in dangerous seas.
Maersk Alabama is part of a U.S-flagged fleet controlled by Maersk Line Ltd., a unit in A.P. Moller-Maersk, which performs military, government and humanitarian missions.
Currently the vessel is involved in the “Food for Peace” programme, transporting food aid to East Africa.
According to an official statement by Maersk Line “the cause of death for both men is part of an ongoing investigation, but it was not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel.”
They stated that the two men boarded the vessel on January 29th. The vessel made port on February 17th, whilst the bodies were discovered in a cabin onboard on the afternoon of February 18th by a colleague.
So far Maersk have made no comment to how the people have died.
Jean Toussaint, a spokesman for Seychelles police, who are investigating the deaths, said “as far as I know there is no evidence of physical trauma”, whilst a post-mortem has been scheduled.
The U.S Coastguard, who has jurisdiction due to Maersk Alabama’s status as a US flagged vessel, is also planning on assisting on the operation.
Speaking to CBS news, Lt. Cmdr. Jamie C. Fredrick stated that “An investigator from our Activities Europe team is actively engaged in a cost guard investigation.”
The Maersk Alabama was made famous in 2009 when it was subject to a hijacking by Somali pirates. The five-day hijacking was resolved when Navy SEALS intervened, shooting and killing three of the pirates, who held Capt. Richard Philips prisoner in a life boat.
The story has been recently dramatised into a blockbuster film staring Tom Hanks (see video). “Captain Philips” focuses on the experiences of the crew on board, specifically the title character.
In 2012, nine members of the crew filed a lawsuit against Maersk seeking compensation for the emotional and physical injuries gained over the course of the hijacking.