THE JOHN B. DILLON.
THE JAMES A. GARFIELD. L'BOMMEDIEU v. THE JOHN H. DILLON and another.
STARACE 11. SAME.
(Districe (Joure, 8. D. New York. February 28, 1887.)
CoLLISION-TuGS AND Tows-EAST RIVER-BEND IN STREAM-CONTRARY NALs:-WRONGFUL PElUlISTENCE IN COURSE-STATE STATUTES.
Two tugs, with tows along-side, were navigating in the East river. and approaching the bend at Corlear's Hook; the D. going up with the flood-tide, the G. coming down. The state law required them to navigate in mid river. Both were considerably on the New York side, the G. a little nearer than the D. They exchanged contrary signals twice. and each steered to the westward, and persisted in doing so until a collision happened between their tows. Held, both liable; the D., first, for improperly assuming that the G., because her green light was seen across the bend on the D.'s port bow, wasintending to cross to starboard; second, for not stopping and backing sooner; the G. for not stopping in time; and both for persistent steering to the westward.
In Admiralty. Goo. A. Black, for libelants. Jas. W. 08borne, for the John H. Dillon. Edward H. Hobb8, for the James A. Garfield.
BROWN, J. Just after dusk on the seventeenth of November, 1885 t as the steam-tug John H. Dillon, with three boats in tow along-side, tWG upon her sw.rboard side, and one upon her port side, was going up the East river with the flood-tide, the outer boat on her starboard side came in collision off Corlear's Hook with the San Pedro. which was coming down the strearl1 on the port side of the tug Garfield. The collision was near the marble yard at the point of the Hook. Each tug claimed that, when they were a quarter of a mile apart, she herself was within about 300 feet of the New York shore, and that the other was about in mid river. The Garfield, when above the Hook, saw the Dillon's red light below the Hook, gave one whistle, and ported; while the Dillon, about the same time seeing the Garfield's green light above the Hook, gave two whistles, and starboarded. The Garfield again blew one whistle, and again got au answer of two; and both continued sheering towards the New York shore. The Dillon's witnesses testified that they heard nG responses to their two signals. The testimony of the disinterested witness, Deakin. who passed the two vessels about the very time they came in collision, and went between them and the New York shore, shows that the nearness of the shore at that time was much exaggerated by the Garfield's witnesses, and that the collision was from 200 to 300 feet at least off the maTble yard.
. FEDERAL REPORTER.
Deakin further testifies that as he came down past the Grand-street ferry, astern of the Garfield, the Dillon somewhat further out in the river, perhaps 100 01' 200 feet. I am inclined to give ble weight to tbis testimony, though fully aware of the liability to estimate the distance through the effect of perspective from Deakin's position.. It is not necessary to pursue the details of the conflicting testimony in this case. I am satisfied of the following main facts: (1) That both tugs, with their tows, were proceeding from 300 to 500 feet off the New York shore; the Dillon probably a little further out than the Garfield. (2) 'rrhat both were violating, without excuse, the statute rule that required them to go in mid river, "as near as may be." (3) That the channel course changes from three to four points in going round Corlear's Hook; that the Dillon, below the Hook, saw the green light of the Garfield above the bend, and not the red light, because the Garfield was not yet headed down so as to show her red light; and that the Dillon, knowing the situation, had no right to assume that the Garfield was intending to cross the Dillon's bows from seeing her green light above the bend, (The Chaa. R. Stone, 18 Fed. Rep. 190; The W. H. Beaman, Id. 334; The Ranger, L. R. 4 P. C.519;) and that she was mistaken without excuse, if she did mistake the Garfield's position, and assume her to be further out in the river than herself; and that she had no right, against the rule which required her to keep to the right, to starboard, and go to the left, without a previous understanding to that . effect by signals. (4) That, hearing no response to her two whistles, the Dillon was bound to stop and back earlier than she did; and that had she done so, instead of sheering to the left towards the New York shore without an assenting signal, the collision would have been avoided. (5.) The pilot of the Garfield was certainly mistaken in his testimony Running, as he was, parallel with the New York shore, whether 200 or 400 feet distant from it, the Dillon's red lights could not have been seen as he testifies, "well off his port bow, about 4 points, half a mile distant;" nor could the Dillon at that time, as he says, have borne from him about S. E. Either of these conditions would have put the Dillon in a place impossible under such circumstances. The Dillon must have .been at that time on the Garfield's starboard bow, and in a position to see the GarfiE'ld'sgreen light. Had the Dillon been on the Garfield's port bow before the latter turned the Hook, the Dillon, with her heavy tow, and with the tide setting tOwards the BrooklYB shore, could not have reached the place of collision. The Garfield's first signal of one whistle was doubtless a proper one; but, when it was answered by two whistles from the Dillon, there was evident danger of collision, which required the Garfield, under rule 21, to stop and back at once. Instead of doing so, the Garfield slowed only, and kept on, under a hard a-port wheel, towards the New York shore, towards which the Dillon was also swinging; and it was not until the second exchange of contrary whistles, when the boats were evidently quite near each other, and some time after the first
THE MINA A. READ.
exchange of whistles, that the Garfield reversed. Both were to blame for their persistence in contrary maneuvering, and for the long-continued sheer of both from about the same moment till they came into collision. The libelant is entitled to So decree against both, with costs.
(Di8Wict Oourt, B. D. Nf!/lIJ YO'1'k. February 21, 1887.)
Libelant's vessel, after having been damaged by collision, proceeded to a dry-dock for repairs. While awaiting her turn at the dock, she became SUfrounded by ice, so' that when the dock was clear she could not get to it, and in this way some days were lost. Held, that this time lost should not be charged against the colliding vessel as part of libelant's damage.
WHILE WAITING FOR DRy·DoCK.
Ed'U1ard H. Hobbs, for libelants. Oarpenter &: Mosher, for claimant.
BENEDICT, J. The libelant's vessel having been damaged by collision, he was obliged to return to New York. When the vessel came in she went to So berth along-side a dry-dock in Jersey City, and a contract was made with the dock-owner to raise her, with her cargo in her. At the time of her arrival the dock was occupied by another vessel, and the libelant's vessel waited for the dock to be clear. While waiting, as the libelant says, she became surrounded by ice, so that when the doC'k was clear she could not get to the dock. In this way some days were lost, and the question now raised is whether this time lost must be paid for by the colliding vessel, as part of the damage caused by the collision. In my opinion, this detention is not a part of the damage caused by the collision, but was caused by the misfortune which befell the libelant's vessel while waiting for the dock. He selected his place of repairs, and his place to lie until the dock should be clear. While so lying he was subjected to certmn risks. He became liable to be further damagedsunk, perhaps-by some other vessel, and, as it now appears, to be hemmed in by ice, and so delayed. But for none of these things could he recover of the other colliding vessel. The delay he suffered was caused by ice, and not by the colliding vessel. The exceptions are overruled.
lReported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.