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February 24th, 2014

Security Officer Found Dead on Maersk Alabama Was Ex-SEAL

Two American security officers were found dead on the Maersk Alabama off the coast of Africa last week, one of whom has been identified as a former Navy SEAL.

Authorities said the men, former SEAL Mark Daniel Kennedy, of Baton Rouge, La., and Jeffrey Reynolds, were found dead in a cabin on the vessel, which was made famous in 2009 when it was hijacked by Somali pirates. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, represented crewmen from the vessel in relation to the piracy incident.

During the hijacking, some crewmembers were held at gunpoint and others hid in an engine room. The five-day standoff ended when Navy SEALs shot and killed three of the pirates who were holding the ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, in a lifeboat.

After the attack, several crewmembers, filed lawsuits against The ship’s parent company, Maersk Line, Ltd., and Mobile, Ala.-based Waterman Steamship Corp.

The event was recently dramatized in “Captain Phillips,” a film starring Tom Hanks.

Tragedy on the Maersk

Kennedy and Reynolds, who worked for Virginia-based Trident Security, were aboard the Norfolk-based vessel as it was berthed in Port Victoria in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles.

Kennedy, 43, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1995 and completed his last tour of duty in 2008, according to information released by the Navy. During his service, he was a special operator first class in the elite SEALs unit, his record shows.

Ships often employ former military personnel to provide security against pirate attacks in the waters off Somalia.

No cause of death was given for the two men, but U.S. Coast Guard officials and police in Africa said they were investigating the deaths.

In a statement released last week, Maersk Line, Ltd. said the deaths were “not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel.”

The Maersk Alabama transports food aid to East Africa for the U.S. government’s “Food for Peace” program, company officials said.

Read past blogs related to the Maersk Alabama hijacking:

Maersk Alabama Under Fire Again: Should Maritime Lawyers be Surprised?
SMSH Client John Cronan, Ex-Crewman Speaks Out About Second Pirate Attack on Maersk Alabama
Maersk Alabama Crew Blames Captain for Pirate Attack

For more information about piracy, please contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers.

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