PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A Maine shipyard official says the frame of a replica 18th-century sailing ship that sank during Hurricane Sandy was rotted.

Todd Kosakowski told federal investigators Wednesday he discovered the rot when the HMS Bounty underwent repairs at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine.

The ship was having several planks replaced before heading to Florida. He says he showed the ship's captain what he found, but the captain chose not to have it fixed before departing because of the expense and time it would have taken.

The ship later sank 140 kilometres off Cape Hatteras, N.C., during the October storm.

One member of the HMS Bounty's 16-person-crew died and the captain was never found. The ship was built at Smith and