Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?
I thought the only significance of the Melbourne,
when the wreckage was recognized, was that Riker had refused command of it, the implication being that if he had accepted, he would have had his ship blown out from under him and likely died. Recognition of the wreckage had that significance, not a revelation that Hanson was dead.
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)