NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Two boats owned by a caught fish tycoon known as the Codfather sank while moored at a Massachusetts wharf, authorities say.
There was nobody on board the fishing vessel Dinah Jane, and Nemesis, at the time of the disaster Monday, according to the us Coast Guard. The boats, part of Carlos Rafael’s fleet, were linked together in Homer’s Wharf in New Bedford.
It is unclear what the cause of the ships sinking. She remained submerged Tuesday while authorities waited for a lifting the machine.
At least one of the boats leaked fuel in the port. Officials say that the ships have a combined capacity of 9,500 gallons of fuel, and it is unclear how much was lost. The New Bedford Fire department a oil containment boom to prevent the spread of contamination.
Rafael, the owner of one of america’s largest commercial fishing, was sentenced last year to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to the evasion of the quotas and the smuggling of money to Portugal.
Federal authorities say Rafael falsely claimed its vessels caught haddock or pollock, when they had actually caught other species subject to stricter quotas. He then sold the fish for cash, some of which was smuggled abroad.