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HMS Bounty crewman says he urged abandoning ship

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The chief mate of a replica 18th-century sailing ship that sank off North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy says he urged the ship's captain to abandon ship twice before he gave the order to do so.

One member of the HMS Bounty's crew died, and the captain was never found after the ship sank 90 miles off Cape Hatteras during the October storm.

A federal safety panel began hearing testimony Tuesday in Virginia to examine what led to the sinking.

John Svendsen says the ship was taking on water and had no power when it rolled over and sank. He also told investigators the captain didn't alert Coast Guard officials of the ship's deteriorating condition when he first suggested it.

Surviving crew members were among those subpoenaed to testify.

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