:while afloat. If the master of the tug expected to tow her on the bottom, (at times,) as may be inferred from his testimony, he should have so informed her master, and exel'cised extraordinary care respecting her fasLvlliugs. It might have been a serious question, under the circumstances, whether one hawser, of ordinary strength, would be sufficient. It is unnecessary to enlarge on the subject. As already indicated, I believe the bark was safely anchored, with ample water for maneuvering and getting away; that the hawser was of onlinary strength, and that the disaster occurred from the tug's failure to keep sufficiently southward in starting, hugging the shoals too closely, in the desire to shorten his course; but that, if the master, Hallenger, is right respecting the bark's anchorage and situation, then it resulted from his failure to await the effect of the tide, and to inform the bark of the danger in moving at the time. A decree must be entered in favor of the libelant
(Dist1'ict Court, E. D. Pennsylvania.
COU,JSJON-SCHOONER-BARGE AT ANCHOR-DAMAGES.
Where a schooner runs into a barge at anchor the burden is on the schooner to rebut the presumption of negligence on her part. Schooner held liable.
In Admiralty. Coulston eX Driver, for libelant. H. R. Edmunds, for respondent. BUTLER, J. The burden of proof is on the respondent. Running into the libelant, lying at anchor, the respondent must repel a presumpt.ion of negligence, or make good the loss. She has sought excuse by appealing to her situation at the time, and her efforts to avoid collision. I find nothing in these c..ircumstances, however, tending to relieve her. She knew that the William and James was aground on the southern side of the channel, or entrance to the canal, materially in the way; she knew also that boats habitually lay along the the northern side of the entrance; saw as she came down the pier !iver the stack of a tug there, and should have seen the tall derrick of a barge, and have anticipated the presence of other similar vessels by her side; and, in the condition of the tide and direction of the wind, she should not have attempted to enter without careful reconnoissance, and ascertaining that she could do so with safety. It seems quite plain that tqe collision resulted from the fact that the mind of her master was so intent upon the danger threatened by the situation of the William and James that he failed to observe any precaution respecting the opposite side. Thus, with his eyes upon the grounded
schooner, he ran close to the northern side, taking in his jib, and allowing his mainsail to remain partially up, that his vessel might readily swing round into the entrance. His purpose manifestly was to keep as far as possible from the William and James. His calculation and maneuver might have answered, but for the presence of the barges at anchor on the other side. He seems, however, to have made little calculation for the effect of tide and wind, which swung his stern too far down and brought his head around towards the northern pier. With his mainsail up and the tide ebb, this is precisely what he should have anticipated. If the situation was such that he could not enter with safety, he should not have attempted to enter. There was nothing in the way of anchoring outside, or running by. He therefore was clearly in fault. Was the libelant also in fault? If she was, it was for lying by the pier where struck. She came through the lock at 12 o'olock the previous night, and was made fast to the tug. by means of the intervening boat, for the purpose of being towed away. This was in pursuance of the usual custom, and was unobjectionable at the time. The William and James grounded on the opposite side, a short time before the collision. The most that can be said is that she should have moved as soon after as was reasonably practicable. Her situation was such that it would seem unreasonable to hold that she should have moved before the collision occurred. Other boats lay in front, and there was not room in the rear. She was properly fastened at bow and stern, and with her companions lay as near the wharf as practicable. The allegation that her stern was swung off towards the channel is not supported by the proofs. What the respondent'switnesses say respecting this is evidently mere guessing, while the testimony upon the other side is positive and conclusive. The blow parted the stern line, and then the tide swung her round. I do not see, therefore, how she can be held to have been in fault. lt is true, her master saw the respondent coming down the river, and did nothing to warn her of the situation, but he had no reason to doubt that she understood it as well as himself. Nothing further need be said. The respondent must answer for the damages. A decree will be entered accordingly.
THE SALLY MoDEVITT
(District Oourt, E. D. Pennsylvania
May 29, 1885.)
TOWAGE-TUG AND BARGE-STRIKING SUNKEN ·WRECK-NEGLIGENCE-DAMAGES.
The tug in this case was guilty of negligence, and should be held liable for the loss of the barge being towed, caused by striking a sunken wreck, the existence of which was known to the tug's captain.
In Admiralty. Henry R. Edmunds, for libelant. Pugh <t Flanders, for respondent. . BUTLER, J. Two questions only were presented on the argument: First. Did the libelant strike on the sunken "wreck," (the location of which was known to the respondent,) or upon some other obstacle whose existence was unknown? Second. Was the bark properly steered? After listening attentively to counsel, and reading the testimony submitted, I am satisfied both these questions must be answered in the libelant's favor. It seems to me quite plain that the striking was upon the "wreck." Notwithstanding the conflict in testimony, the weight of the evidence, in my judgment, sustains this view. Rodenbush, master of the McDevitt, ahd Standering, master of the other boat in tow, are clear and positive respecting it. They knew nothing of the "wreck" until attention was called to it at the time, but they say it was this they both struck. Sta.ndering is entirely disinterested,-the only witness not connected with either party. The deck hand and engineer of the tug support this view. A careful reading of their testimony, in thQ light of surrounding circumstances, seems to make it clear that both vessels struck the same thing. That the vessel towed at the tug's side struck the wreck is not questioned. The allegation that the libelant encountered something else, further over to port, finds but feeble support in the evidence. If such obstruction existed it could readily have been found; and finding it might have been important to this inquiry. Yet it was not Bought for. It is said that slight obstrucin this creek, and as suddenly distions suddenly obtrude appear. While this is quite probable, it is not probable that SQ serious an obstacle as that encountered by the libelant, was of this temporary character. The respondent, being familiar with the existence of the sunken wreck, should have avoided it. That the barge was not steered directly in the wake of the tug, may be granted. When the rate of speed at which the vessels were moving, the state of the water, and the shape or form of the channel at or near the point, are considered, it cannot well be doubted that it was impossible she should have been kept directly astern. The speed was about two miles an hour. The tide was, I think, turning downward, and the tow was rounding, or had just rounded, a bend in the