Woelf, do you know if there’s a specific reason that crew on scuttled ships are eliminated rather than removed from the game? I’m not sure if I really grasped that until rereading the rule just now.
Most likely it was just an “oops” when the rule was written and no one ever noticed it, but play it as written. There are a few very specific abilities which could be triggered by that elimination, but for the most part the distinction isn’t going to matter.
I don’t think it was deliberate, considering how frequently “removed” and “eliminated” get interchanged (when they really shouldn’t) elsewhere throughout the rulebook and ability texts.