the troops, so far as possible, and in returning at once to Savanill.a. No blame was attached to him by the prisoners. But even had he entered knowingly upon the Rio Racha expedition as a hostile one, inasmuch as that expedition was clearly no part of the original intent of the voyage, it would not furnish any foundation for a forfeiture under our statute. The various other incidents of concealment and precaution to which I have referred, though wholly unnecessary in order to avoid arrest for any offense under our statute, were plainly prudent enough in relation to the danger that might be apprehended from the Colombian government; because that government, in case it should learn the fact of this shipment of arms, might endeavor to intercept them before arrival at Savanilla as contraband of war. This furnishes all needed explanation of the circumstances that I have referred to, and is in entire keeping with the purely commercial character of the voyage. I find nothing, therefore, in the case authorizing any inferences to be drawn adverse to the entirely peaceable and commercial character of the adventure, as it was designed and planned when the vessel sailed from this port. The Rio Racha excursion was an independent incident, during which Capt. O'Brien found himself surprised by the violent and treacherous acts of the troops, which he could not have anticipated, and which he did everything in his power to repair. The libel shonld therefore be dismissed, and the vessel discharged from custody.
Oourt, .Fl, D. New York.
OBJEC'l'ION TO DEPOSITION-LACHES.
A cause being called for trial, the libelant offered in evidence a deposition, which was objected to. The libelant submitted to the objection on being allowed a coni inuance of the cause and leave to examine the witnellS anew. Three years after, the cause being again called, the libelant appeared by another proctor, and offered the same deposition. lleld, that. the Iihelant could not be allowed to question the validity of the objection; and, as no other evidence was offered, the libel must be di.\lmisscd.
In Admiralty. A. B. Stewart, for libelant. Wheeler If; Souther, for claimant. BENEDICT, J. This cause was called for hearing some three years ago, when the libelant offered in evidence a deposition taken de bene esse. The deposition was objected to, and the libelant submitted to the objection on being allowed a continuance and permission to examine the witness anew.' The witness not having been re-examined,
by R. D. & Wyllys Benedict, Esqs., of the New York bar.
the libelant now, by a new proctor, brings up the case, and in support of the libel offers the same deposition objected to on the former hearing. Having submitted to the objection at the first hearing, he cannot at this late date, and when, as it may be presumed, the witnesses for the other side are scattered, be permitted to question the validity of the objection once submitted to. The same result would follow if, as the libelant contends, the objection taken at the first trial was sustained by the court, but wrongfully. For it would be unjust to the claimant, who has acted upon the ruling of the court, to permit the .libelant, after this long delay, to reopen the question raised by the objection to the deposition, and passed on at the first hearing. There being no evidence for the libelant except that contained in the deposition referred tOI the libel must be dismissedl and with costs.
(District Court, W. D. PennsyZvania. April 16, 1885.)
COLLISION-TuG AND Tow-DESCENDING AND ASCENDING BOATS IN NARROW CHANNEL.
A tow-hoat, incumbered with a coal-tow, descending the Ohio river, and passing through a narrow channel, has the right of way, and it is the duty of an ascending boat to remain below the channel until the descending tow has emerged therefrom.
SAME-DUTY OF PILOT OF DESCENDING BOAT.
The pilot of the descending tow-boat was not culpable in not warning the ascending boat against entering the channel, both boats being plainly in sight of each other. Each of two appr,Jaching vessels may assume that the other will reasonably perform its duty under the laws of navigation.
In Admiralty. Barton c.f; Son, for libelant. KnoXe c.f; Reed, for respondents. ACHESON, J. In the mass of testimony in this case are to be found the contradictions between witnesses as respects both matters of fact and of opinion usual in controversies of this nature. By the preponderance of the proofs, however, the following material facts are established to my satisfaction. On the forenoon of November 30, 1883, the libelant's tow-boat Eugene, having in charge a tow of orconsisting of two coal-boats and three flats, all loaded dinary with coal, was proceeding down the Ohio river upon a stage of about six feet of water, and passing through what is known as "Glass-house Ripple," a chute which, for a descending tow-boat with such a tow as the Eugene then had, is a narrow channel and one very difficult to navigate. The respondents' tow-boat Rescue, having in tow one flat partly loaded with stone, was then coming up the river. When
the Eugene was about 900 feet above and the Rescue was about feet below the lower end of the wing-dam at the foot of Glass-hoLSe ripple, the boats exchanged whistles; the Eugene'giving the first Bignal denoting her choice of the right side, to which the Rescue assent6d. As the Eugene was nearing the foot of Glass-house ripple, the Rescue, without any abatement of speed, entered it, and continued up stream under a full head of steam, with the wiug-dam to her starboard. When about 250 feet above the lower end of the wing-dam the boats met and passed each other in dangerous proximity, the flat of the missing one of the coal-boats of the Eugene, but not Rescue actually colliding with it. At this moment, however, the Rescue threw her stern out from the wing-dam and in towards the Eugene, and the wheel of the Rescue was thus brought within perhaps 20 feet of the coal-boat; at any rate so close to it that the swells (which were very heavy,) caused by the revolutions of the wheel overflowed the side of the coal-boat and swamped it, so that it had to be cut loose. It sunk in a few minutes, and, with its cargo, was totally lost. It cannot be pretended that this disaster was the result of inevitable accident. Undoubtedly fault there was somewhere. What the nature of it was, and which party was culpable, or whether both boats were in fault, are the questions now to be determined. The space between the north shore and the wing-dam is about 400 feet wide, but by reason of a small bar at the wing-dam, a short distance above its lower end, the navigable coal-boat channel there is somewhat less than 400 feet in width, and, perhaps, does not greatly exceed 300 feet. Now, on this occasion, the Eugene was about in the middle of this channel,-slightly nearer the wing-dam than the north shore,-and was floating down stream, backing, from time to time, to keep straight in the channel. Some of the expert witnesses express the opinion that the Eugene should have been nearer the north shore, and quartering northwardly, or at least that that position was preferable. But, according to the clear weight of the evidence, her position in, and manner of running, the channel was free from fault. Besides, it will not do to hold such craft too rigidly to any particular position when running such a channel as Glass-house ripple. Under the most favorable circumstances a descending coal-tow is, to a certain extent, unmanageable. Floating with the stream, the tow is liable to be controlled largely by the current and cross-currents. And the tow-boat has not complete command of her movements like an unincumbered steamer. Rule 3 for the government of puots prescribes:
"When two boats are about to enter a narrow channel at the same time, the ascending boat shall be stopped below such channel until the descending boat shall have passed through it; but should two boats unavoidably meet in such channel, then it shall be the duty of the pilot of the ascending boat to '" * * stop the engines or move them so as only to give the boat steerageway, and the pilot of the descending boat shall cause his boat to be worked slowly until he has passed the ascending boat."
I am of the opinion that this rule was applicable to the circumstances of this case. But, even in the absence of such express regulation, it was a clear dictate of common prudence that the Rescue should remain below the mouth of Glass-house ripple until the Eugene had emerged therefrom. The latter was the descending boat, and had the right of way. She was burdened with a full tow, and hence in a measure was helpless to overcome the set of the current which is towards the wing-dam. All this the pilot of the Rescue knew, or was bound to know; and for him to enter there was to assume an unnec" essary hazard, and was altogether indefensible. It is said, however, that the Eugene was in fault in not warning the Rescue back. But to this I cannot assent. The signal which the Eugene had given merely indicated her choice of sides, and was by no means an invitation to the Rescue to enter this channel. The pi. lot of the Eugene had enough to do to attend to the proper navigation of his own boat. Moreover, each of two approaching vessels mayassum,e that the other will reasonably perform its duty under the laws 'of navigation. The Free State, 91 U. S. 200. But were it conceded that the rescue was justified in entering Glass-house ripple, still she was highly culpable in not abating her speed. The expert testimony is to the effect that it was very dangerous for her to work on a full head of steam in passing the Eugene, and this is demonstrated by what actuaily occurred. The respondents, however, insist that the lost boat was not seaworthy for lack of proper splash.boards. But that they were reasonably sufficient is, I think, ,a fair conclusion from the whole proofs. Moreover, I am convinced by the evidence that no ordinary splash.boards would have prevented the swells caused by the wheel of the Rescue from overflowing the coal·boat. As to the value of the lost property, there has been no serious con"troversy. The claim as set out in the bill annexed to the libel seemed to be well made out. Let a decree be drawn in favor of the libelant for the amount claimed, with costs.
and others v. THE
(Circuit Court, E. D. Louisiana. December 27, 1884.)
Admiralty Appeal. R. King Cutler, for libelants. E. W. Huntington. Horace L. Dufour, and A. C. Lewis, for claimants. PARDEE, J. The libelants found the barge Lee, worth about $1,000, with a cargo of cotton-seed, worth about $900, adrift, with no one on board and apparently derelict, in the port of New Orleans. The wind was high, danger signals were out, the current was strong, and the barge was drifting towards and near to several steam-boats moored head on to shore, but lying with their sterns well out in the stream. There was no owner or apparent searcher for the barge in sight. The libelants, two of whom were out in a yawl, and one on shore, succeeded in getting a line aboard the barge, and with the help of others aboard the steam-boat Warren, with Rome difficulty and risk, checked the barge, and, hauling her in, tied her up in safety, so that she did no damage to herself nor to the other shipping near. When the owner, after about 20 minutes, came for his bal'ge the libelants claimed a reward for their services, which was promised, bui afterwards, when the barge had been removed, although the libelauts remaiued aboard, it was rl:lfused, and (according to the weight of the evidence) refused with opprobrious and insulting language, whereupon the libelants rebained possession of the barge and cargo and brought their libel for salvage. It seems that the barge Lee belonged to the steam-boat Alberto, and shortly preceding its being found adrift was moored along-side of the Alherto, near the Cromwell Line landing; that the steam-ship New Orleans, of that line, in swinging out to start on her voyage, collided with the barge, crowding it upon the Alberto, and endangering that boat by pushing her on the wharf to such an extent that the master of the Alberto cut the barge adrift and whistled for assist1
Reported by Joseph P. Hornor, Esq., of the Kcw Orleans bar.