meant by waving his hat. There is little room to find that the waving or signaling with the hat by the'master was not in strict line with what he said, and whilt the tug-boat did. There remains, then, for the libelant's case, that he misunderstood the signals' and words of the master' of the Wood. I think this was his fault. He was eager to be taken in tow. He, had applied to the Wood the day before, and had been refused. He was bound to observe that noprecQutions were being on the Wood to take him in tow with safety, and he should have known the great danger unless the speed of the tug-boat was slackened. He should not have mistaken the signal of waving the,hat, which at best, under the circumstances,was ambiguous, and was probably only given for emphasis, when he did not hear the words, and the whole conduct of the boat was giving them a distinct meaning of refusal. A nAnree will be entered dismissing the libel, with of both,courts.
THE FORT LEE. MAGUIRE,
ooure. 8. D. New
Yll1'k. December 21, 1885. )
Vessels moored in slips' along-side piers, with bowsprits extending beyond the ends of the piers, in violation of the local regulations, and being in the wax of the usual course taken by other vessels accustomed to enter the slip, wIll be held in fault in case of collision, though the obstruction was visible, and might have been avoided by the other vessel by proper lookout and care.
2. SAME-CASE STATED-FERRy-BOATc-NoRTB: RIVER. The ferry-boat F. L.· coming down the North river from Fort Lee to her slip at One Hundred and Thirty-First street, in entering the slip on the strong \ ebb-tide, A'oing as usual, near the corner of the upper pier collided with the projecting bowsprit of the schooner R. B., moored neBr the outer end of the pier. The schooner had been warned to move further back in the slip, and the projection of her bowsprit was contrary to the regulatiops of the harbormasters. Held, both vessels in fault,...,.the schooner for wrongfully remaining in the ferry-boat's way, and obstructing her rightful course; the latter, for not observmg the schooner's position, and keeping away from her, as she might have done by a proper lookout and reasonable ,care.
In Admiralty. . Goodrich, Deady & Platt, for libehUlt. E. H. Hobbs, for'claimant.
. BROWN, J.A little after 7 o'clock in the morning of May 17,1884, as the ferry-boat Fort Lee was coming down the river, and was entering the slip on thesputh side of West One Hundred and Thirty-First street, her port side, at about the second or third cabin window, came in contact Blair, which was lying with the bowsprit of the schooner
THE ,. FORT LEE.
out on the northerly side of the slip, injuring both vessels. The libelant contends that the bowsprit did.Dot extend beyond the line of the pier, while the ferry-boat's witnesses contended that it extended some 10 or 15 feet beyond. The schooner, during the evening before, had been moored outside of another schooner lying along the pier, and had been repeatedly requested to move out of the way of the ferry-boat; and at about 9 P. M. the other schooner was hauled out, and the Robert Blair was moored along-side the dock: The ferry-boat made no subsequent trip that night, and the collision was on her first trip down the next morning. The dock at which she was moored, being a solid dock, causes a very strong current to run across.the end of the pier on the ebb-tide. The ferry-boat for this reason is accustomed,in coming down, to ron into the slip angling, and close to the southerly corner of the upper pier. There is no doubt,upon the evidence, that the sohooner, whether her bows actually projected. 1)6yond the line of the pier arnot, did obstruct and interfere with the usual course that the ferry-boat was entitled to take upon the ebb-tide. At low tide the, schooner was aground as she lay, but at high water could have been moved further back. The weight of evidence, moreover, is to the effect that her bowsprit, after she was brought along-side the pier. did project somewhat beyond its Quter end. In either case, she was violating the rules of the harbor-masters, which require both· that such vessels shall lie with their bows in, and also so as not to obstruct and interfere with the ferry-boats of the city. There was nothing to prevent the schooner from complying with these regulations, between 9p. M. and 7 A.M., be.fore the ferry-boat came down; and she had express notice from the fe,rry-boat not to obstruct her path. The schooner must therefore be held chargeable with fault contributing to the collision. But the ferry-boatfuust also be held in fault, because the position of theschoOl;\er, her masts, her b6wsprit. and jib-boom, were all in plain sight ,before the ferry-boat reached the pier. If in reality they projected as claimed by the defendants, and as the weight of proof sustains, the bowsprit should have been seen a considerable distance away. It was not noticed until within 50 yards. This indicates a lack of proper lookout. But, if seen in sufficient time to avoid it. I cannot exonerate the ferry-boat on the ground that she was obliged to ron close to the corner of the pier as claimed. No doubt that facilitates her entrance; but proceeding a few feet further to the southwar!l could not have caused her any injury, though possibly a little delay and awkwardness in'going into the slip. It is also urged that the schooner's lines were loose, so as to allow her to draw towards the ferry-boat, through the effect of the backwater from the latter. The fact may have been so, but that cannot be admitted to exonerate the ferry-boat. The swaying of the'schooner, caused by any slackness of the lines, was but a few feet at most. It was an incident liable to happen. The ferry-boat was bound to give space enough to avoid such contingencies. Both were in fault, and the damages must be divided.
FEDERAL REPORTER. THE MIRA A.PRATT.! SIBLEY v. THE MIRA A. PRATT.
(District ClflWC, B.D. Alabama. April 27, 1887.).
The schooner M., being unable "to fetch by Sand island" and keep on her course up the river, sailed for Horn island. for safe anchorage, but seeing a tug lying under Sand island she came to anchor near that island in R heavy sea and strong wind, with breakers all around, and signaled the tug. With the wind as it was and with the sails left she could not have got awa'y. Beld, that the schooner ],eing in a state of difficulty and in such a situatIOn as afforded a reasonable apprehension of danger, .the services of the tug were salvage services, and not mere towage.
When a dispute arises asto·whether a signal hoisted was for a tow or a signal of distress, the fact is to be determined by the state of the vessel itself at the time, and the court will consider the state of the vessel in order to determine whether such a signal was a signal for a tow or for assistance. The tru:e question is: What was the condition of the ship? The character of the signal hoisted is only one part of the evidence bearing on the question.
In Admiralty. Salvage. Libel in rem. Pillans, Torrey &: Hanaw, for libelant. Anderson&: Sons, for claimants. TOULMIN, J. The questions in this case are-First, whether it is a case of salvage; and, secondly, if it is, how much compensation ought to he allowed to the salvors. It is contended on the part of the claimants that the service rendered was that of mere towage, and that it should be compensated as such only. Towage may be a salvage service when performed inaidOfa vessel in distress. 2 Pritch. Adm. Dig. 1835 ; The H.I/. Foster, 1 Abb. Adm. 222. Mere towage service is confined to vessels that have received no injury or damage. ,The Plymouth Rock, 9 Fed, Rep.416. See Newson, Salvage & Towage, 2 j 3; 7, and 24. It is also contended by claimants that the signal hoisted by the schooner was for a tow only, and was not a signal of distress. ·Where a dispute arises as to whether a signal hoisted was for a tow or a signal of distress, the fact is to be determined . by the state of the vessel itself at the time, and the court will consider the state of the vessel in order to determine wh Pother such signal was a signal for a tow or for assistance. 2 Pritch. Adm. Dig. 1819, 1820. If the signal hoisted was for a pilot or tow only, that does not prevent the services rendered from being in the nature of salvage. The true question always is: What was the condition of the ship? Was she in distress? The character of the signal hoisted is only one part of tho evidence bearing upon the question. 2 Pritch. Adm. Dig. 1820. The vessel had lost her mainsail, and with the sails left she could not come up to the city, and, as the captain expressed it, "could not fetch
lReported by TheodoreM. Etting,
Esq., of the Philadelphia bar.