Two former Navy SEALs working as security were found dead on the Maersk Alabama ship on Tuesday, Feb. 18 – the same ship featured in the Oscar-nominated film Captain Phillips.

Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, both 44 and American citizens, were discovered dead in a cabin on Tuesday afternoon and the cause of death is still unknown. The Maersk Alabama is currently moored at Port Victoria in Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, where it arrived Sunday and was expected to leave Tuesday.

The ship, as a U.S. flagged vessel, is under U.S. jurisdiction, and the Coast Guard will conduct the investigation, though the Seychelles police is also on the case. Lt. Cmdr. Jamie C. Frederick told CBS News that the Coast Guard has sent an investigator to the scene, saying, “An investigator from our Activities Europe team is actively engaged in a Coast Guard investigation.”

Reynolds and Kennedy were employees of the Trident Group, a private security firm, and were hired by the Maersk Alabama to provide extra security, as has become common to ward off piracy.

“Contracted security is part of anti-piracy protection plans to safeguard crews and vessels. In Maersk Alabama’s case, she is persistently in high-risk areas since she provides feeder service to the east coast of Africa. The vessel was cleared to complete cargo operations, and she is now at anchor awaiting further instructions,” said Kevin N. Speers, senior director for Maersk Line Limited, in a statement.

Speers also stressed that the Maersk Alabama was not directly involved in the cause of death, saying that the deaths were “not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel.”

Maeserk Alabama does not have the best of luck when it comes to maritime security. The ship was most famously hijacked by pirates in 2009, the events that were made into Captain Phillips, but it has been attacked by pirates four times in total. Since the 2009 attack, attempted hijackings of the ship have been stopped by security personnel.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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