Skip to main content

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

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 5:38 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
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
updated 8:25 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
updated 5:00 AM EDT, Wed October 8, 2014
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT