An investigation into the deaths of two American security contractors by the Seychelles Police Force has confirmed the presence of drugs and drug paraphernalia in the cabin of the Maersk Alabama where the bodies of the two men were found Tuesday.
A statement from Maersk Line, Limited late Thursday confirmed what some had suspected about the mysterious deaths onboard the U.S.-flagged vessel made famous in 2009 when it was hijacked by Somali pirates and later depicted in the film ‘Captain Phillips’. A gCaptain source has indicated that the drug found is heroin.
The MLL statement said that it is working with security contractor Trident Group to ensure that security personnel on MLL vessels adhere to Maersk’s zero tolerance policy on the use of drugs and alcohol.
MLL regularly contracts vessel security services to Virginia-based Trident Group in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard security directives. The company has stated that based on their experience with the contractor that they believe that this was an isolated incident.
Still, MLL says it has initiated an action plan that will include a review of all security personnel records to confirm that drug tests, background checks, and training requirements are current; retesting of security personnel for drug use where necessary; an audit of personnel hiring, training, performance evaluation, and compliance practices; and a reevaluation of the shore leave policy.
The Trident Group will also immediately implement a random drug testing program to increase the frequency at which it screens security personnel, the MLL statement said.
An emailed statement issued Wednesday from Trident Group President, Tom Rothrauff, noted that “There is no history of any abuse of any type of substance associated with either of the men.”
The bodies of the two men were found in a cabin on Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m. while the ship was docked at Port Victoria, Seychelles.
The men have been identified as Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds, 43 and 44, respectively. According to an Associated Press report, Kennedy is an ex-Navy SEAL from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who enlisted in 1995 and completed his final tour of duty in 2008.