Skip to main content

Autopsy: Men on Maersk had respiratory failure, suspected heart attacks

By Saad Abedine. Khushbu Shah and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Autopsy reports on two U.S. security officers indicate they died of respiratory failure
  • They may also have suffered heart attacks, a police statement says
  • The bodies of the two men were found a week ago on the container ship Maersk Alabama
  • Police report "includes suspicion of drug use" as syringe, traces of heroin were found

(CNN) -- Autopsy results indicate two American security officers found dead on the container ship Maersk Alabama last week died of respiratory failure, coupled with a suspected heart attack, police in the Seychelles said Tuesday.

Further forensic analysis will be carried out to establish if the two men, Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, had consumed a substance that may have brought on these events, a police statement said.

Traces of narcotics were found with the bodies of the officers, it said.

"The police preliminary investigation report includes suspicion of drug use, as indicated by the presence of a syringe and traces of heroin which were found in the cabin," the statement said.

2009: Maersk crew back home
The Svendborg Maersk was struck by high wind and waves off the coast of France after it left the Bay of Biscay By the time it had reached the Spanish port of Malaga, more than 500 containers were unaccounted for. The Svendborg Maersk was struck by high wind and waves off the coast of France after it left the Bay of Biscay By the time it had reached the Spanish port of Malaga, more than 500 containers were unaccounted for.
Ship loses more than 500 containers
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Photos: Ship loses more than 500 containers Photos: Ship loses more than 500 containers

The two men, both 44, worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. Trident Group President Tom Rothrauff said both were former Navy SEALs.

The 500-foot Maersk Alabama was the target of an attempted hijacking in the pirate-infested waters off East Africa in 2009 -- an incident that inspired the 2013 film "Captain Phillips."

The shipping giant Maersk, which hired the Trident Group to guard its ships, said last week that Trident would be conducting random drug tests of its employees.

"Based on our experience with the contractor, this is an isolated incident," Maersk said. But it said new drug tests would start immediately and the company's shore leave policy was under review.

Police said the ship arrived on February 16 in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with a 24-man crew and had been expected to leave two days later. The bodies were found last Tuesday by a colleague who had gone to check in with one of the men in a cabin, Seychelles police said.

The Maersk Alabama has since left the Seychelles capital of Port Victoria.

READ: Official: Drugs, needles found with dead officers on Maersk

READ: Ship loses more than 500 containers in heavy seas

READ: Police ID 2 Americans found dead on Maersk Alabama -- 'Captain Phillips' ship

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT