Two men were found dead on the Maersk Alabama, the same ship that Somali pirates attempted to hijack in 2009, which was also the basis for the 2013 film Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks.
The two men, both 44 years old, were American security officers and former Navy SEALs. They worked for the Virginia-based maritime services firm Trident Group. Tom Rothrauff, president of Trident Group, said, “It’s bizarre. Of course, it’s a shock. They’re all great guys. I’m absolutely clueless as to what happened.”
Kevin N. Speers, a senior director for Maersk Line Limited, said in a statement that their deaths were not related to their duties as security personnel or the operation of the ship.
“Contracted security is part of anti-piracy protection plans to safeguard crews and vessels. In Maersk Alabama’s case, she is persistently in high-risk areas since she provides feeder service to the east coast of Africa. The vessel was cleared to complete cargo operations, and she is now at anchor awaiting further instructions,” said Speers.
On Sunday the ship arrived and docked in Port Victoria, Seychelles and was expected to leave Tuesday. One of the 24-man crew had gone in around 4:30 pm Tuesday to check on one of the men and found the two men dead.
The investigation into the two men’s deaths is ongoing. “A postmortem will be carried out this week in order to establish the cause of their sudden deaths,” said police.
According to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, because the Maersk Alabama is a U.S.-flagged ship, the U.S. Coast Guard is involved in the investigation.
The two men joined the ship’s crew on January 29. Their names are currently not being provided.
One person shared their sentiments for the deaths of the two former Navy SEALs on Twitter.
Truly saddens my heart to hear of the 2 Former SEALs that lost their lives onboard the Maersk Alabama. Fair winds, Frogmen. #LLTB
— Jenna Evans (@EvansJenna) February 19, 2014
Image via YouTube.