Capt. Dave Marciano, one of the stars of the Gloucester-based “Wicked Tuna” reality television show, saw his business reality take a wicked turn over the weekend.
Marciano found his fishing vessel, Hard Merchandise, submerged at the dock at the Gloucester Marine Railways in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Marciano, a lifelong fisherman, said in an interview at the dock Monday that he received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard around 1 a.m. Sunday saying that the agency had received a “ping” from the vessel’s Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), which activates when a vessel hits the water.
At the time, Marciano said, he was at his Beverly home watching “Moonshiners,” another reality television show.
“I was on the couch starting to nod and was planning on going to bed when I got the call,” he said. “The Coast Guard said it wasn’t getting good positioning on the ping and wanted to know if the boat was out fishing and if there was an emergency.
“I told them the boat was at the dock and I was going right over,” he said. “When I got there, all I saw was the antenna sticking out of the water — and that’s not a good feeling.”
Near the end of the effort to pull the boat out of the water, Marciano said crews found a break in a thru-hull fitting that caused the 36-foot fiberglass boat to fill up with water and sink.
“This could have let go 100 miles off shore. That’s the blessing, because this could have happened when we were out fishing and there would have been no way to stop it completely, although I could slow it down with a pump,” said Marciano, who recalled being on a sinking vessel in the past.