'Captain Phillips' Ship: 2 Men Found Dead Aboard Boat That Inspired Film

Image: 'Captain Phillips' Ship: 2 Men Found Dead Aboard Boat That Inspired Film

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 06:38 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Aboard the real-life ship that inspired the "Captain Phillips" film, two American security officers were found dead Tuesday in a cabin of the boat hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009, Seychelles police said in a statement.

Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, both 44, were found dead Tuesday aboard the Maersk Alabama, The Associated Press reported, which was docked in Port Victoria in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles. Police offered no cause of death, but said a postmortem has been scheduled.

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The bodies were found by a colleague who had gone to check in on one of the men in a cabin at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to CNN.

The men were employed by U.S.-based Trident Security, the Seychelles police told the AP. Former military personnel often provide security on ships that travel through Somalian waters. The company was founded by ex-U.S. Navy SEALs in 2000.

Both men were former Navy SEALs, Trident Security President Tom Rothrauff told CNN.

"It's bizarre. Of course, it's a shock. They're all great guys," Rothrauff said. "I'm absolutely clueless as to what happened."

In a statement, the Maersk Line told the Associated Press that the cause of death is under investigation but is "not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel."

The Maersk Alabama transports food aid to East Africa in conjunction with the U.S. government's Food for Peace program, the company told AP.

In April 2009, four armed pirates tried to hijack the Maersk Alabama hundreds of miles from the Somalian coast. When the Alabama's crew sank the pirates' vessel and thwarted their attempt to seize control, the pirates took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat. Three days later, Navy sharpshooters killed three of the pirates and captured the fourth.

Nine real-life crew members who were present when the ship was hijacked have filed a $50 million lawsuit over the attack, claiming they endured physical and emotional injuries.

The story was made famous by the film starring Tom Hanks in 2013, which has been nominated for Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards.

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