NAIROBI, Kenya - Two American security
officers have been found dead on a ship made famous when it was hijacked by
Somali pirates, according to a statement by Seychelles
police on Wednesday.
The two men's bodies were found on Tuesday in their cabin on the ship where it was berthed in Port Victoria in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles.
The police gave no cause of death but said a post mortem has been scheduled.
The U.S. Coast Guard stated from its headquarters in Washington that it is also investigating the deaths.
"An investigator from our Activities Europe team is actively engaged in a Coast Guard investigation," Lt. Cmdr. Jamie C. Frederick told CBS News.
The Coast Guard has jurisdiction because the Maersk Alabama is a U.S. flagged vessel.
The two men worked for U.S.-based Trident Security, according to the Seychelles police statement. Former military personnel frequently provide security on board ships sailing through the waters off Somalia to provide security against pirate attacks.
Trident Security was founded by former U.S. Navy SEALs in 2000 and employs former special warfare operators to provide security. Requests to Trident for information about the two men were not immediately answered on Wednesday.
The Maersk Line said the cause of death is under investigation but is "not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel."
The Maersk Alabama's home port is in
Norfolk, Va., where its parent company Maersk Line, Ltd. is also headquartered.
The Maersk Alabama transports food aid to East Africa in support of the U.S.
government's "Food for Peace" program, according to the company. Crew
members also help support the Bee Hive Children's Home in Mombasa, Kenya.
Nine crew members in the lawsuit filed in Alabama in 2012 say they suffered physical and emotional injuries after Somali pirates boarded. Some crew members were held at gunpoint with Phillips, and others hid in an engine room.