NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – A 60-foot research vessel sank overnight in New Bedford Harbor, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The vessel, Isle of Fire, had been towed into the harbor late last week. Its owner, Joel Dudec, told Coast Guard officials that he would hire a private contractor and divers to raise the boat.

“The vessel is going to be salvaged up,” said

No one was aboard at the time the Isle of Fire sank, Lt. Daniel Ross of the Coast Guard’s marine safety office in Providence, R.I., said. There was no other immediate information about the owner or research.

Diesel fuel from a partially filled 55-gallon drum leaked, but no significant environmental damage occurred, Ross said. No fuel from the vessel’s tank leaked, he added.

When the vessel is raised, the cause of the sinking will be determined, he said.

Someone from shore reported the sinking Tuesday morning. The vessel’s pilot house and bow were still above the surface. It is located about 600 yards off shore.

The Isle of Fire’s last port of call was New York City, Ross said.

AP-ES-05-11-04 1600EDT

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