NEW BEDFORD - Officials are investigating after two vessels sink overnight in New Bedford's harbor.

New Bedford Police Port Security and the Fire Department responded to a Coast Guard distress call at 1:24 a.m. Monday, reporting that the 65-foot fishing vessel Nemesis was taking on water at Homer's Wharf.

Upon arrival, first responders were not able to locate the vessel, because it was almost fully submerged.

A second fishing vessel, the 68-foot Dinah Jane had also sunk.

Both boats are owned by fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, known as "The Codfather." Rafael was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in September for a fish and cash smuggling scheme.

No injuries were reported.

Officials are investigating what caused the ships to take on water.

The New Bedford Fire Department deployed 400 feet of oil containment boom around the sunken vessels to minimize the environmental impact. The Department of Environmental Protection is on the scene to address any environmental issues. A private clean-up company is also on scene removing the minimal amount of fuel that spilled as a result of the sinking of the two vessels.

U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard

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