NEW BEDFORD — A fishing vessel that was taking on water this morning in New Bedford Harbor has been stabilized.

The call came of the fishing vessel United States taking on water at Homer's Wharf on the New Bedford waterfront shortly before 9 a.m. this morning.

"The skipper came on board, and noticed he was taking on water," New Bedford Fire Department District Chief Steven Beaulieu told WBSM News. "They had power, so I'm not really sure what was wrong. Did the bilge stop pumping? Did they have a valve open? I don't know."

The New Bedford Fire and Police Departments responded and brought their pumps on board, and Beaulieu said they were able to get things under control.

"We got ahead of it finally, we got the ship to stabilize," he said. "The Coast Guard responded, and Frank Corp. ended up showing up from the owner (calling them), so we passed it over to them."

Beaulieu said he still doesn't know what the exact cause was for the vessel, which is owned by Felicio Lorenco of Maritime Investment, LLC, taking on water.

"We never found out, because it was below the water line," he said. "We shut down the valves at the captain's request, and I'm not sure if that actually did it, but in the end, the boat was stabilized and Frank Corp. took over and finished pumping it out."

Beaulieu said that when he was there pumping, it was mainly just seawater, so he wasn't sure if any oil or fuel got into the harbor.

"As far as I know, if there was any release into the harbor, it was very minimal," he said.

He said the last he heard, the boat was headed across the harbor to Fairhaven for repairs.


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