h'eIm. The fact of' itself; and the 'little,ch4.nge·,possible to the, Sammie, fire: conclttsive mind,' thMthe :Cityof Springfield: didMt fulfill her 'duty to ltllow a·suffioiertt margin for 'safety, as she might have done, ·andWas bound to do"and that the blame of the collisibri'il'itistrestup6rt her.' : . It was strenuously contended on the trial that the hawsers that attached the float to the tug Were parted' befol'e the collision, through the sudden backirtg'of,the tug; that tbebows of thefl.oat were swung somewhat to thlfeastward, upon the tug's]etting 'her helm run looSe on backing; and that,but for this swing',of the float to the eastward;' no 'collision would 'have occurred. There! bah be no question that it wastha duty of the ·Sl1tntnietoback when she did. It is"stoutly: denied byseveral witnesses on her part that the', lines'were parted except by the force of the blow of the collision. But'if they were .parted ,before the collision, through the: tug!s backing, I cannot regard tbatas any exclisefor the steamer, because the danger of collision was theri imminent and:Gbvious, through the City6fSpringfield'sfault; and, even Jif the backing was too strong or sttddeti:fdr the strain made by 80 heavy a float, it was nothing more than anerrorofjudgment'in the/excitement of a peril in extremis, for which the 'steamer stilHetnains ·toblame. The Elizabeth. Jones, 112 U. S. 514;526, 5 Slip.' Ct. nep.468.. Nor had the steamer any right to go so near to the tug, wIthout reason' or' hecessity,and to make no allowance for such contingencies of navigation. The Columbia, 9 Ben. 254; , The Laura V;; Rose, 28 Fed. Rep. 104; The Aurania, ·29' Fed. Rep. 98. I think the' evidence sustains' the claim· 6n the part' of the tug that, from the tim.ethe first two whistles were exchanged until she backed, she .had starboardedher helm so as tagh futther to the westward, and thereby aided the Springfield, and did nothing to thwart her. She was proceed. ing very slowly; backed strong when collision was threatened; and, in my opinion, made no swing to starboard other than the slight dhange necessarily incident to the backing Of a right-handed propeller. This was all she was called upon to do. Thl,'llibel against her must therefore 'be dismissed, with costs; and that against the steamer sustained, with a reference to compute the damages.
RA.iltlARK: and another'll.'l'HE 1. C.
ST. 4233, RULES 20,23. ... '. Rules 20 and 2S of section 42311, Rev.' St: U. S. are to effect that, when a steam-V'-6ssel and 1\ sail-vesse. are proceeding in such :directions as to involve ristt of :collision, the steam-tessel.shall keep out of the way of sail-vessel, and the shall keep its. course. These rules apply strictly
Reported by Joseph P. Hornor, Esq., of the New Orleans bar.
,THE I. C. ll:ARRIS.:
in all cases arising in aIt 0Pl1l1 but whether they should be strictly applie,' in narrow channels or restrict.ed harbors depends upon the existing danger! of navigll.tion. and the special' circumstances attendant upon the case. See rule 24, llame section.. '. ' .
COLLISION-BoTH PARTIES TO BLOO.
. Facts stated. by which Ubelall.t is found to be in fault for not exhibiting & tOrch as lllquired by section 4284, Rev. St., and claimant for not having a: sufticientlookout. . . .
Admi11!lty Appeal. . .. '. Whlleler c!c,.Rlwdes, for lib$Jlts. for claimant.
J. 'This case is oDe ofcollision in th.enight-time in chllnne,l, leading into .Galveston ,harbor, between the schooner Pat Chri$r tianooming in,and the steamer 1. O. Harris going out. The libelanbJ alll'lge that the collision was the,sGle fault of and the claimallt wasa19ne in fault. The libelants rely on. secinaisbJ ijllj.t the tion4233,Rev. St., rules 20,23, to the effect that, when a steam-vessel and a sail-.vessel are proceeding in $Uch directions as to involve. risk of collision. the steam-vessel shall keep, out of the way of thesaU-vessel, 8Jld th-e sail-vessel shall keep its course. That theseJ.'l;lles: apply strictly in allcase8.arising in an open Sel;l. there. is no douptjbut should be Btr.i<ltly applied ill' narrow channels, or .restricted harb(l)rs depends'uponthe existing of navigation, and the special circumstancesatten&mt upon the case. See rule 24, same section. There ,is evidence in this ease tending to show that W:ben the master and;qua:rtemiaster of the stellmer first saw thE! lights of the schooner t that the hehn of the steamer was hard a-port, and 'that she was as near the starboard shore as she could safely go; and the weight of the evidence is to the effect ,that if the schQoller had ported her helI4t instead of maintaining her course, the collision would have been avoided. It ill probable, therefore, 'l1hat this case might be disposed of adversely wthe,libe1allts upon a proper construction and application of the above.. cited nules.. , The. case,' however, is too plain to go into that matter. The weight is that the schooner had her red .and green lighti;lpropejrly displayed,-:-in fact the proctor for claimant so admits. The night was dark; ,but not foggy; and there was apparently nothing to hinder such lights from being seen, bya proper lookout, for a distance ofhalf man aboard the Harris at time of the collision a mile. whose testimony has been taken; swears that the sQhooll.er and her lights were not seen until the schooner ,was withil'dess than 100 yards, and it was too late, fo.],' the steamer to avoid the collision: I think it follows that the steamer had no proper lookout. It is true that the quartermaster was in the pilot-ho1;l.se, and the master wfl,fIon the upper deck in front of the pilot-house, with his glassesj but the crew: were catting tbe anchor, and it is very probable that the master was overlooking that operation. He swears he see the schooner until she was within 70 to 75 yards. The quartermaster, who was steering the Harris, did
the and her viciill,tyby hearing The fault of the is apparent without considering her responsibility under rules 20aIiQ., 23, be provfded with proper signal lights, and that every such vessel sball10nthe approach of any steam-vessel during the night-time, a,how a lighted torch upon that point or quarter to which such steam-vessel shall be approaching, and a penalty is imposed for violating these provisions. In 'this case no torch-light was shown by the schooner, norWasohe ever shown to be aboard, and therefore the schooner was clearly in fault. The libelI.nitih'oIiterrd that shoWing: a in this case\\Tould havedbne no gobd, and that such failure did'r1ot contribute to the.collision. ThIs cdhtention is not weH :founded.} , No1/, constat thatthettnwary master6f the Harris would not have 'seen:the schooner'slighuil:itt'time had they beenreitlforcad,as the law ,required',' with it torch-light: If the case were one where the' court could tind froni evidenee that the omission on the part of the schooner to show the torch-light did not contribute ,to l1ringonthe collision, then the argument of libelant's proctor, supported, as it is; by 'uumerousadjUoged"c!\ses, might carry his case; cottrtcannot' sofitid, becanseit,'is,bow impossible, under the: state of factsdeveloped>by the evidencel1ot' any one to say what 'would have been the conduct of the steirtlei'i tiad' the schooner shown mOfldights. The steamer was in fault because her officers did n0t see the lights that the schooner did show,'and it seemS- equally olear thlltthi3'.schooner was ih fault in not showing aU the lights that the statutes reql1ir4:J. Thllt.'the greater fault was! with the steamer h'fay be conoeded; :!At the same tinie the schooneroilght not to ueny the steamer the benefit of the arbitrary statutory rule. that 'sail-vesselslipproatihing a stenm"vessel in the nighttime shall showl! torch-light, W'hi1eclaiming. the full benefit of the equally arbitrary rule thatsteam-vesseh:;1 shan keep out of the W8JY of sail-vessels. For adjudged cases a's to the necessity 'of complying; with the rule as to showing tt torch-light, see The Hercules, 1 Fed. 925,' 17 Fed. Rep.-GOG; The !John Starin, 2 Fed. Rep.'100; The 'Mttrgaret v.The a. Whiting. 3 Fed. :Rep; 870; The Algier8, '21 Fed. Rep. 343; The Oregan, 27 Fed. Rep. 751; The Eleanora, 17 Blatchf. 88. In those cases where the, was not held responsible for fail.;. ure to show the torch-light ii will be found 'that in· each case the court found that the failure did not contribute to the collision; but the general rule in the circuit courts has been to hold such failure inexcusable. Both vessels being in fault in this case, it follows that the damages should be divided. The p'roof shdwsthat the damages to the schooner amounted to $415, and to the steamer $432.70,"-near enough equal to permit the court to do substantial justice in the Mse by a decree dig;. missing the libel,and dividing the c O s t s . '
..' . .
:END 'OF VOLUME