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Laura Gainey wasn't wearing a survival suit or life-jacket when she was swept overboard. ((Courtesy of Barque Picton Castle))

The Cook Islands has called an inquiry into the death of a Canadian woman swept off the deck of a tall ship in December.

Laura Gainey was sailing on the Lunenburg, N.S.-based Picton Castle when a rogue wave washed over the ship off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., on Dec. 8.

While Lunenberg is home port for the tall ship, it is registered in the Cook Islands, a country northeast of New Zealand in the South Pacific.

Cook Islands Transport Secretary Aukino Tairea said Wednesday he has appointed a board of inquiry to investigate what happened, but it's not clear how extensive the investigation will be.

Canadian and American rescuers spent close to four days searching for Gainey, 25.

The captain of the ship, who wasn't on board at the time of the incident, said Gainey had been ordered below deck during the rough weather. Senior Capt. Daniel Moreland has said he doesn't know why she was on the deck at the time.

She was the daughter of Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey.