Maersk Alabama: last calls of guards found dead

Workers at Victoria International Casino described the men as jovial. They were eventually escorted out at 3 a.m. when the casino closed. “I told them, ‘Hey look, we need to close,’ ” Mr. Nanty said. “ ‘You have to leave.’ ” At 6 a.m., the police report noted, they returned to the ship. It was in Mr. Kennedy’s cabin, more than 12 hours later, that a ship security officer discovered the two men on Feb. 18. Mr. Reynolds was slumped on the bed, and Mr. Kennedy was lying face up on the floor, a syringe in his left hand, brown heroin powder in the room, according to police reports. Drug use was prohibited. [February 25] Two ex-Navy Seals found dead last week aboard the ship made famous in the film Captain Phillips died of respiratory failure after suspected heart attacks, Seychelles police have said Two American security officers have been found dead on the Maersk Alabama container ship, police in the Seychelles said February 19. Seychelles police identified them on February 20  as Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy. The men, both 44, were found dead on February 18 "A postmortem will be carried out this week in order to establish the cause of their sudden deaths," police said, adding that the police investigation is ongoing. The 500-foot Maersk Alabama was targeted by Somali pirates in an attempted hijacking off the east coast of Africa in 2009. The 2013 film "Captain Phillips" is based on the incident. Reynolds and Kennedy worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. The company's president, Tom Rothrauff, said the men were former Navy SEALs. "It's bizarre. Of course, it's a shock. They're all great guys," Rothrauff said. "I'm absolutely clueless as to what happened." 

Frank Peake, The former president of Sea Star Line LLC, was sentenced to serve five years in prison and to pay a $25,000 criminal fine for his participation in a conspiracy to fix rates and surcharges for freight transported by water between the continental United States and Puerto Rico. As a result of the ongoing investigation, the three largest water freight carriers serving routes between the continental United States and Puerto Rico, including Peake’s former employer Sea Star, have pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay more than $46 million in criminal fines for their roles in the conspiracy.

Sea Star pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2011, and was sentenced by Judge Dominguez to pay a $14.2 million criminal fine. Sea Star transports a variety of cargo shipments, such as heavy equipment, perishable food items, medicines and consumer goods, on scheduled ocean voyages between the continental United States and Puerto Rico.

Peake and five other individuals have been ordered to serve prison sentences ranging from seven months to five years. Additionally, Thomas Farmer, the former vice president of price and yield management of Crowley Liner Services, was indicted in March 2013 for his role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to go to trial in May 2014.In 2009, two former Sea Star executives and three former Horizon Lines employees were sentenced as a result of the price-fixing investigation. Peter Baci, who had been senior vice president at Sea Star Line, received the stiffest punishment with a four-year prison sentence and $20,000 fine.

[September 5]

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.



Billy Ray has been tapped to pen Columbia Pictures' Somali pirate pic.

Based on true events that unfolded earlier this year, the untitled film centers on captain Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by four Somali pirates and was subsequently rescued by a group of Navy SEALs.

Col picked up the cargo ship captain's life rights in May, weeks after his dramatic capture by armed Somali pirates, his attempted escape and eventual rescue. At the time, the studio also optioned the film rights to Phillips' upcoming memoir, "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Five Dangerous Days," which will be published in April by Hyperion.

Michael De Luca, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti and Scott Rudin are producing.

Ray's recent writing credits include "State of Play," "Flightplan" and "Breach," the last of which he also directed. He is currently writing "Gears of War" for New Line and "Motorcade" for DreamWorks.

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