Drugs and related paraphernalia were found in the cabin of the Captain Phillips cargo ship where two U.S. security contractors were found dead, the Seychelles Police Force reported Thursday.
Former Navy SEALs Mark Daniel Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds were found dead Tuesday in Kennedy’s cabin on the Maersk Alabama, which was docked in the Indian Ocean archipelago. Police did not indicate the type of drugs, and autopsy results are pending.
After police completed their initial investigation, the Norfolk, Va.,-based ship was allowed to leave Port Victoria, the Seychelles capital.
The men were employed by the Trident Group, based in Virginia Beach. Company President Thomas Rothrauff said their families asked that no additional information be released.
Calling the apparent drug overdoses an “isolated incident,” Maersk Line Ltd. said in a statement that it is working with Trident to immediately tighten its “zero tolerance policy” on drug and alcohol use, including random testing and rescreening.
“The action plan includes, and is not limited to, the 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 re-evaluation of the shore leave policy,” said Maersk spokesman Kevin Speers. “The Trident Group will also immediately implement a random drug testing program to increase the frequency at which it screens security personnel.”
Former Navy SEALs and special warfare operators founded the maritime-security firm in 2000.
In April 2009, four Somali pirates boarded the 508-foot Maersk Alabama off eastern Africa. Three held Capt. Richard Phillips hostage for four days in a covered lifeboat before being shot dead by SEALs aboard the USS Bainbridge. The fourth, who had been captured earlier by the crew, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly 34 years in a federal prison.
Tom Hanks portrayed Phillips in the 2013 film that dramatized the hijacking.