Traces of narcotics and hypodermic needles have been found with the bodies of two American security officers on the container ship Maersk Alabama, a Seychelles government official has stated.
Background: Two Dead on Captain Phillips' Ship [Updated]
Police said an autopsy would be carried out early next week. However, the unidentified Seychelles government official said that the presence of drug traces and paraphernalia would suggest that their deaths were a result of drug overdose.
A Seychelles police statement said that despite media accounts of traces of drugs, authorities have not released any reports suggesting the deaths were the result of an overdose. The statement, however, did not deny that drugs were found or suggest an alternative cause of death.
Thomas Rothrauff, President/CEO of Trident Group – the maritime security company who employed the two deceased ex-Navy SEALs – released the following statement: “It is with great sorrow that Trident Group confirms the death of two Security contractors while onboard a merchant vessel which was pier side in the Seychelles. Seychelles authorities are conducting a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident. There is no immediate indication as to the cause of death, but the deaths were not caused by operational activity. The next of kin have asked that no further information be released and requested that all respect the privacy of the families.”
Shipping giant Maersk, which hired the Trident Group to guard its ships, said that Trident would be conducting random drug tests of its employees. The statement also said that Maersk and Trident have a history together, and this is an isolated incident. Nonetheless, new drug tests would start immediately and the company's shore-leave policy was under review.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said the service was investigating the deaths, as required by U.S. law. He said the deaths do not appear to be criminal in nature, related to vessel operations, the material condition of the ship or their duties as security personnel.