are not at liberty to guess at what she would ha.ve done if they ha.d been different. It is unimportant. that the pilot in charge of the Gratitude had allowed his license·toexpirewithout. reneww. His competency for the service is undoubted. It is proper to say that no weight whatever has been attached to the action of the inspectors, whose report was put in evidence, and referred to on the argument. The rights of parties injured by collision cannot be affected by anything these gentlemen may do in the discharge of their .official duties. They may be called as experts, to solve nauti. ow problems, if competent for this' service; in no ather way oan the court listen to what they may do or say respecting cases of.collision. A decree will be entered sustaining the Gratitude's libel, and dismissing the Eutaw'liI.
RutEa and others
(Di8t11ct Oourt. D.
Minnesota. November 29, 1882.)
CoLLISION-VESSEL HAULED UP ON
Where a vessel hauled out and up on marine ways to be docked, for tbe purpose of having her hull repaired, by reason of insufficiency of the props and stays, breaks loose from her fastenings and' slides down into the water, and comes into collision with another vessel, inflicting such injuries that the latter was wrecked and sunk, the same principles of law govern as in the ordinary cases of collision between vessels naVigating the river, and the owners of tim colliding vessel are responsible for the injury inflicted.
BAlIE-NEGLIGENCE 011' CoNTRACTORS NOT TO EXCUSE.
The fact that a contract was entered into between the master and owner of the colliding vessel, and the persons who had charge of the dock-yard and ways, and who took the vessel to haul her up and perform their contract, will not relieve the owners of all responsibility for loss occasioned by the negligence of such contractors.
CoNTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE-OWNERS RESPONSIBLE 1I'0R ACTS 011' MASTED.
Where the vessel wrecked by the collision had laid up after her last trip near the marine ways, and her master in charge had consented that she should be removed from her position above to a point directly in front of the marine ways, for the purpose of having her hauled out and up on them, and actually assisted in the removal, and left a watchman in charge, and the former pilot, and both knew the situation of the vessel on the manne ways, Mld. that her owners are responsible for the acts of the master, and that such acts contributed to the disaster, and that no recover,y cali be had in damages for the des(ructioa of the vesseL
Williams wDavidson, for libelants. O'Brien d: Wilson, for respondents. NELSON, D. J. The plaintiffs, owners of the steamer Col. McCleod, bring suit in admiralty in personam, to recover damages to the amount of $17,000 for a collision by the steamer Butte with their vesseL The gist of this action is the alleged negligence of the defendants. The collision occurred upon the Missouri rivel', near the city of Bismarck,in the territory of Dakota. The steamer Butte was partly hauled up on the marine ways for repair, being dismantled, and having on.·boa.rdas watchman the mate of the steamer during the previous seaSOn of navigation. The owners had. entered into a written contract with the persons in charge of the' marine ways for hauling ·the vessel out) the terms of which contract are not material. The steamer McOleod had been put in charge of the same persons who hauled out the Butte, for the purpose of hauling her out, a.nd had been dropped down to the landing in front of the ways, and lay jcst at the foot of the same, dismantled. These ways are built and used for the purpos(j of repairing the· hulls of vessels, and are located on the land, the timbers gradually inclining or sloping to the river bank, and rnn partly into the river or to the edge, so that vessels can be haded out and up on them, broadside. Marine ways are necessary for the .proper repairing of vessels, and mllst be located' near water's edge, so that vessels afloat can be readily hauled upon them, and these dock-yards are not necessarily a nuisance, although the act of bauling out a' vessel broadside upon them the exercise of great care and caution. On the seventeenth of November, 187!), when the steamer Butte was partly hauled up on the ways, as stated, and the steame;r MeOleod was in front, preparatory to being hauled out, the shores or props sustaining the Butte being iustifficient to hold her in position, she slid down into the river and collided with the McCleod, inflicting such injury that the latter was wrecked and sunk. The collision, although not the usual one occurring between vessels wbile navigating the river, is governed by the same principles of law. I am of opinion that the owners of the Butte steamer are responsi. ble for the injury inflicted on the McCleod, if no blame can he attached to the latter vessel. It is insisted that the contractors, and not the owners, are liaple. The fact that it contract was made between the master and part owner of the Butte with the persons who had charge of the dock-yard 'lnd ways, and who took the vessel to haul her up and perform his
BA.KER V. POWlCB.
contract, will not relieve the owners of all responsibility for loss occasioned by the negligence of such contractors. The negligence of the contractors who hauled out the Butte is conceded, and at the time of the collision a watchman was on board of the vessel appointed and designated by the master. In fact, the master was present when the vessel was hauled ont, and knew her position, and how she was propped and stayed. These facts fix the liability of the owners, for the persons to haul out the' vessel are not such independent contractors, although the contract is in writing, that they can shield themselves from the consequence of the contractors' negligence. This rule was applied ty Dr. Lushington to The Ruby Queen, where the facts and circumstances did not present. case as strong as the in the hands of a conone at bar. The Ruhy Queen had been while unier his sole charge drifted and ·collided tractor for sale, with another vessel. She was held liable for the injury inflicted through the negligence of the contractor 1s servants. Lush. Adm. '266. from this. In the The 'rule in cases oft,owageis to former, when the tow collides with a vessel through negligence of ,the tug and inflicts injury, the owners of the tug, and 'not the tow, are held responsible as contractors. The reason is ohvious, for the movements of the tug are not under the control of those in charge of the tow,and,it is impossible for· them to prevent the negligent act of the tug or take steps to intercept it, , . In the case at bar the master and part owner of the steamer Butte, present when she was hauled out, and knew her position, and the' manner in which she was propped and stayed.. The plaintiffs, there:' fore,are entitled to a decree McCleod was also to blame and contributed to her injury. It appears that the steamer McCleod had laid up after her last' trip·neat the marine ways, and the master in charge had consented that the vessel should he removed from her position above to a point directly in ,front of them for the purpose of having her hauled out. There is some evidence tending to show that the owners desired a contract with the operators and managers of these docks similar to the one entered into with the master of the Butte, but as the master of the McCleod consented to the change of place It is not material whether such contrad was .actually made. The master was responsible for. the position ia.ken by the vessel, and his consent is sufficietlt to bind the owners. He was not only present when she was·dropped down, but assented,and left Bagley, the watchman, in charge, ahd
also McClender, the former pilot, and both knew the situation of the a proper oourse was not taken steamer Butte. It is quite clear by the MoCleod. She ought ,p.ot to have been placed in the position she ocoupied until the Butte was laid upon the ways, in place, .and securely fastened. The master, or person in charge, for whose aot her owners are responsible, was to blame in allowing her to be di'opped down at the foot of the ways in front of the Butte. It was a negligent act and contributed to the injury. A decree will be entered in favor of the defendants lOt costs.
December 2, 1882.)
(Oircuit (Jourt, D. Maryland.
COLLISION NOT PROVED-DISMISSAL OF WEL.
Upon a careful consideration of the evidenee JYT't1 and con In this ClUla, It was
held that the alleged collision was not proved, and that the libel muat be dis-
1n Admiralty. Appeal from district court. John H. Thomas and G. L. Thomas, fQr libelants. I. A. L. McClure and A. Stirling, Jr., for tug Amanda Powell. R. H. Smith, for schooner Silver Spray. BOND, C. J. This is a libel for a collision which took place in the harbor of Baltimore. The faots relating to it, so far as they can be definitely ascertained, appear to be these:
The barge I. I. Munder was lying at the west side ot Jackson's wharf, and fastened to it by lines from her bow and stern. Directly opposite her, at another wharf, the bark Nokomis was lying, there being between the bark and the barge a water-way sufficiently wide to permit the schooner Silver Spray to pass, and to lay at the wharf above the bark. The barge was laden with corn. At 5 o'clock in the morning of the nineteenth of September the tloating elevator Hattie bad removed all the corn which WalJ contained in the bow of the barge. which could be reached through the forward hatch, and left her with her bow elevated and her stern depressed, the weight of her cargo being astern. Between 9 aud 10 o'clock of the same morning the steam-tug Amanda Powell unciertook to place the Silver Spray at Jackson's wharf. On arriving at the wharf she was halted by the agent of the Northern Central Railroad Company, which apparently controls the wharf, and was told to wait until the agent could see whether the Silver Spray was entitled to a berth there. This having been immediately ascertained affirmatively, the tug, which was lashed to the side of the schooner, proceeded up the dock witb her