Before the freighter El Faro sank, the captain was warned by a text message from his vacationing second mate that a storm looming offshore was forecast to become a hurricane.

Second Mate Charles Baird testified Thursday before a U.S. Coast Guard panel investigating the ship's sinking last October. All 33 aboard died.

Baird said Capt. Michael Davidson replied that he planned to go near but "under," or south, of Hurricane Joaquin.

Baird said Davidson had rerouted to a slower, safer route in August during Hurricane Danny after the ship's owner sent out a safety alert. No company alert was sent out for Joaquin.

Investigators want to know why Davidson chose to sail closer to a hurricane when he chose a more evasive route in previous storms.