This is the first paragraph of an article:
The salvage operation had been a complete failure. The small ship, Elkor, which had been searching the Barents Sea for weeks, was on tis way home. A radio message from the mainland had been received by the ship's captain instructing him to give up the search. The captain knew that another attempt would be made later, for the sunken ship he was trying to find had been carrying a precious cargo of gold bullion.
Is the word "carry" here a state verb or action verb? Can we change "had been carrying" to "was carrying" or "carried"?
At the end of the article, it contains the following sentence:
The Karen ( the name of the sunken ship) had been sailing in a convoy to Russia when she was torpedoed by an enemy submarine.
Can we change "had been sailing" to "was sailing"?