HALIFAX -- The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board will hold a formal hearing into the sinking of the tall ship HMS Bounty after it went down in October, killing two crew.

The probe is set to run from Feb. 12 to Feb. 21 in Portsmouth, Va.

A statement from the coast guard says the investigation will examine the circumstances of the sinking and develop recommendations to improve the safety of similar vessels.

The Bounty sank approximately 145 kilometres southeast of Hatteras, N.C., sweeping its 63-year-old captain overboard in hurricane-churned waters.

The coast guard rescued 14 crew members after they abandoned the ship in two life-rafts, but 42-year-old Claudene Christian later died after the rescue.

The coast guard searched for 90 hours, covering 12,000 overlapping square nautical miles after receiving a distress call from the ship that was built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty."