Skip to main content

Police: Heroin, alcohol at fault in death of security officers on 'Captain Philips' ship

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 2138 GMT (0538 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police say toxicologists found alcohol in the blood of Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy
  • Heroin was found in the cabin with their bodies, and also contributed to their deaths
  • Foul play was ruled out in the deaths of the two Navy SEALS in February
  • The Maersk Alabama cargo ship was made famous by a Somali pirate attack in 2009

(CNN) -- 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.

Maersk's New Shipping Alliance
MAERSK earnings
How did ex-SEALs die on 'Phillips' ship?

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.

Source: Seychelles video shows 2 Americans on the town before deaths

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

CNN's Drew Griffin contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 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