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Heroin, alcohol at fault in death of security officers on ‘Captain Philips’ ship

Maersk ship

SEYCHELLES — Heroin and alcohol were blamed for the deaths of two American security officers aboard the infamous cargo ship Maersk Alabama, police in the Seychelles have concluded, citing a toxicology report on Tuesday.

Police said toxicologists in Mauritius found alcohol in the blood of Jeffrey Reynolds, 44, and Mark Kennedy, 43, who both suffered respiratory failure and heart attacks. Foul play was ruled out.

A police statement on the lab report did not mention whether the two former Navy SEALS tasked with ship security had heroin in their blood. But it did cite heroin consumption as a cause of death, along with alcohol. The drug was found with their bodies on the ship on February 18.

The Maersk Alabama gained notoriety when Somali pirates seized it in lawless Indian Ocean waters five years ago. The hijacking ended, when U.S. Navy marksmen shot three pirates dead.

The feature film “Captain Philips,” starring Tom Hanks was based on its capture.

Reynolds and Kennedy died after going on shore leave in Port Victoria, Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, local police spokesman Jean Toussaint has said.

The ship arrived on February 16 with a 24-man crew and had been expected to leave two days later.

The bodies were found by a colleague who had gone to check in with one of the men in a cabin, Seychelles police said.

Neighbors of the men in the United States were surprised to hear about suspicions of drug and alcohol overdose. They described Kennedy and Reynolds as fitness and health oriented.

But police in the Seychelles say surveillance camera footage showed the two in a bar until closing and meeting after with two women, who they described as prostitutes.

Police said the women took Kennedy and Reynolds to a place where they could buy heroin.