Published February 19, 2014
Two former Navy SEALs working as security contractors aboard the Maersk Alabama were found dead Tuesday aboard the container ship, a day after it was docked near an island northeast of Madagascar, according to the Trident Group, the security firm that employed the men.
Authorities identified the two men as Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, both 44.
Details of the contractors' deaths remain unclear, but they were not on watch and did not die while performing a security operation, Tom Rothrauff, the president of the Trident Group, said. He said an initial assessment of the scene did not suggest any foul play.
A spokesman from the shipping line only confirmed that two people had been found dead, citing the ongoing investigation. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the matter.
The Maersk Alabama was featured in the movie 'Captain Phillips,' which was based on a pirate hijacking off the coast of Somalia in 2009. Phillips' ordeal galvanized the attention of the U.S. public to the dangers of operating merchant ships in the Horn of Africa, one of the busiest and most precarious sea lanes in the world.
Only seven months after the Phillips' saga, Somali pirates attacked the ship again but were repelled by gunfire and a high-decibel noise device on the container ship.
The Trident Group was established in April 2000 by U.S. Navy Special Operations Personnel, according to its website.
The Maersk Alabama had been docked in Victoria, Seychelles, which is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
The Associated Press contributed to this report