Not sure about the spawning one, but instead of
shipDied, have you tried
I just discovered this on the wiki in regard to
shipSpawned "Note that this is not called for subentities - if subentities need specific set up running, this must be called from the main ship's handler."
I missed it when i last read it.
I'm redoing some Turret code with articulated turrets with a base and a barrel rotating like the gunhouses and barrels on ships. My old approach was a main ship script, but having a script pr Turret would be an easier approach.