Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds, both 44, were found dead in one of the cabins of Maersk Alabama on Tuesday. The ship was docked in Seychelles’ Port Victoria. The two bodies were discovered by one of their colleagues who checked in on them on Tuesday afternoon.
The Maersk Alabama is famous, as it is the ship in the 2013 movie “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks. The events on the film were based on the events that transpired in 2009 when pirates attempted to hijack the Maersk Alabama.
Both Kennedy and Reynolds worked for a security services firm based in Virginia called Trident Group. According to Tom Rothrauff, the firm’s president, both men previously worked for the Navy SEALs. They were shocked to hear of the news and had completely no idea what could have happened.
It is typical for U.S. vessels to have security personnel aboard when sailing to the East Coast of Africa as protection from pirate attacks. Many of the security contractors employed are former military personnel.
Seychelles police said in a statement that a postmortem would be done on the bodies later in the week to determine the cause of death. Kevin Speers, senior director for Maersk Line Limited, said that both men boarded the Maersk Alabama on January 29. He also stated that the deaths were not caused by their activities on the vessel as security personnel.
The U.S. Coast Guard will also be conducting an investigation regarding the incident, as the ship is a U.S. flagged vessel.
The ship’s home port is in Norfolk, Virginia. The Maersk Alabama is a container ship used for the Food for Peace program of the U.S. government. It carries food aid to be delivered to East Africa. Crew members aboard the ship also show their support for the Bee Hive Children’s Home in Kenya.
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Image via Wikipedia Commons