A Coast Guard official says the nearest Navy ship to the HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy was about 260 nautical miles away.
Cmdr. James Mitchell told a federal safety panel on Thursday that all other ships got out of the way of the storm as it approached. The Bounty sailed directly into its path.
Mitchell says that made him realize the Bounty didn't realize the situation it was getting into.
The panel is examining what led to the sinking of the replica 18th Century sailing ship during the October storm.
One crew member died and the captain was never found after the ship sank about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The 14 surviving crew members were rescued by the Coast Guard within hours after the ship rolled over.
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The search and rescue mission coordinator for the Coast Guard's North Carolina sector will testify in Virginia about the sinking of the HMS Bounty.
A federal safety panel is examining what led to the sinking of the replica 18th Century sailing ship during Hurricane Sandy in October.
One crew member died and the captain was never found after the ship sank about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The 14 surviving crew members were rescued by a team of Coast Guard helicopter pilots, hoist operators and swimmers the day the ship sank.
Cmdr. James Mitchell is scheduled to appear before the panel at a Portsmouth hotel on Thursday, the last day hearings are scheduled. Two crew members and another Coast Guard official will testify at a future date.
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