Two commercial fishermen from New Bedford, Mass., were taken to the hospital with exposure-like symptoms after hauling up about 10 mustard gas canisters over the weekend, according to the Coast Guard.
One of the canisters broke open and several hours later, two of the crewmembers aboard the clam dredger, the ESS Pursuit, began experiencing blistering and difficulty breathing.
The crew threw the canisters overboard.
After the incident was reported, the Coast Guard issued on Monday a Captain of the Port order to the fishing vessel to return to port after two of their crewmembers were taken to a local hospital and treated for symptoms of exposure to a hazardous/chemical substance.
National Marine Fisheries Service and the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture have been notified in order to determine if the catch that was offloaded Monday morning was contaminated. The catch has been isolated awaiting further analysis.
The Coast Guard is working with multiple state, local, and federal agencies to develop a decontamination plan for the fishing vessel.