THE YOUNG AMERICA!
(District Court, E. D. New York. July 7, 1885.)
TUG AND Tow-ApPROACHING SQ,UAY;L-NEGLIGENCE IN NOT ANCHORING.
A tug which had assumed command of a bark on commencing to tow her, with the responsibility of determming when to proceed and when to anchor, was held negligent in not anchoring the bark in time, in the face of an approaching squall, which it was evident would be severe, and liable for damage caused the hark by coming in contact with other vessels during the squall, before she was able to reach her destination.
In Admiralty. Butler, Stillman f£ Hubbard, for libelant. Beebe et Wilco,'l:, for claimant. BENEDICT, J. The tug in this instance assumed the command of the bark upon commencing to tow her, and with the responsibility of determining when to proceed and when to anchor. The fouling of the bark in the heavy squall that struck the tug and her tow before she was able to reach her destination at Erie basin cannot be attribon the part of the tug in the management of uted to any the tow during the squall. Her negligence, if there was any, consisted in omitting to anchor the bark before she was struck by the squall. It seems to me evident that, under the circumstances, prudence required the tug to bring the bark to anchor, and pot to attempt to get the bark into Erie basin in the face of the approaching squall. The case, then, turns upon the question whether the tug had sufficient notice of the coming of the squall to enable her to auchor the bark before the storm reached her. Upon this point my conclusion is adverse to the tug. I am of the opinion that the squall was seen to be coming, and that it was evident that it would be severe. 'fwo courses were open to the tug: to anchor in time, or to keep on and attempt to reach the basin before the storm. She chose the latter course. Unfortunately, the storm came faster than the tug had calculated, and caught her before she could gain the protection of the basin, and her tow was in consequence damaged by coming in contact with other vessels. The consequences of this error of judgment in the tug cannot be cast upon the bark, but must be borne by the tug, because she, without necessity, assumed the risk. In the face of an approaching squall she endeavored to reach the Erie basin, when she could easily have anchored the bark. For this culpable error of judgment she must be held responsible for the damage BUBtained by the bark while in her charge.
lReported by R. D. & Wyllys Benedict, of the New York bar.
THE NIAGARA COUNTy.1
(District OOU1·t, E. D. NeJI1) York.
July 13, 1885.)
Held, on the evidence, that the cause of the collision which gave rise to this action was the failure of the steersman of the N. to see the colored lightn of the W., and not any faulty location of the lights.
In Admiralty. Goodrich, Deady d; Platt, for libelants. Carpenter d; Mosher, for claimants. BENEDICT, J. The cause of the collision in question was the failure of the man steering the Niagara County to see the colored lights which the Wilmot is proved to have carried. The excuse for the omission to see the colored lights of the Wilmot is that they were so placed on the cabin of the boat with reference to the lights carried on the bow of the boat that the bow lights rendered the colored lights invisible to the steersman of the Niagara County. The decisive question, therefore, is not as to the presence of colored lights on the Wilmot, but as to the location of such lights. Upon this question the weight of the evidence appears to be in favor of the libelants' statement that the lights were set upon standards that had just been can· structed for that purpose at Port Jackson, and so located that they were not rendered invisible by the bow lights, but were visible to an approaching vessel. The real cause of the collision, no doubt, was the inattention of the steersman of the Niagara County, who was the only person on the deck of that vessel when the colored lights of the Wilmot became visible. There must be a decree for the libelants, with an order of reference.
Reported by R. D. & Wyllys Benedict, of the New York bar,