NEW BEDFORD — A male crew member working aboard a tugboat in New Bedford Harbor suffered serious injuries to his legs as a barge capsized on Monday afternoon.

New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes says the tugboat Sirius was maneuvering an empty barge near a barge fully loaded with sand on the north side of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge at 1:45 p.m. on Monday when the mishap occurred.

While the incident remains under investigation, Chief Gomes says the contents of the fully loaded barge apparently shifted, causing the vessel to overturn.

Submitted photo

While the barge was capsizing, the crew member became caught between two of the vessels and sustained serious injuries to both of his legs.

The man was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

The extent of his injuries and his condition is unknown.

The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard.