THE AMERICA. 1 MILLS
(Dlatriet Oourt, 8. D. New York.
COLLISION-TUGs-RULE OF THE STARBOARD lIAND-RIGHT OF WAy-RISK OF COLLISION.
The tug Tflisman, on her way from Weehawken to pier 5, New York, saw on her starboard bow the red light of the tulS America, bound from Jersey City to Thirty-fifth street, New York. The TalIsman attempted to cross the bows of the America, but was struck on her starboard quarter. The America 'slowed as the vessels approached,giving one whistle twice, and when the tugs were 50 to 100 feet apart gave an alarm si$nal, and reversed. She did not alter her helm. Held, that the Talisman was 1D fault fc;>r not avoiding the America, having the latter on her starboard hand; that the America was in fault, though she had the right of way, for not taking more effectual measures to avoid a collision as soon as she saw by the movemllnt of the Talisman's lights that there was risk of collisioll; and that the damages should be divided.
Goodrich, Deady &: Goodrich, for libelant. Biddle &: ,Ward. for claimant.
BROWN, J. The collision between the libelant's tug Talisman and the tug America occurred opposite Hoboken, between 11 and 12 o'clock at night, about one-third of the way across the river from the New Jersey shore. Considering that the America was on her way from Jersey City to the foot of Thirty-fifth street, New York, and the Talisman bound from Weehawken to pier 5, North river, I have no doubt that it was the that was first seen by the America's red light, and not the green pilot of the Talisman on the latter's starboard bow. The Talisman was, therefore, the one that was bound to keep out of the 'way of the America, 'Vhile the latter had the right of way. The Talisman must be held in fault, because there was plenty of room for her to have kept out of the way by porting; and because she undertook to cross the America's bows to starboard, instead of passing port to port; and because the America did nothing to mislead the Talisman, or to thwart her in her duty of keeping out of the way. As respects the America, the question of fault is less easy to determine. Some of the contradictions in the testimony cannot be recOIlciled. The greater fault is evidimtlyon the part ofthe Talisman, fot the reasons above stated. The America, according to the account of her captain, gave a signal of one whistle when the boats were, as he estimates, some 300 or 400 yards apart. Both of the Talisman's colored lights were then seen one or two points off the America's port bow. Getting no answer, the pilot ordered the engines slowed, and then repeated the same signal while seeing both of the America's colored lights. Directlyafter the last signal, he observed the Talisman's red light shut in, leaving her green light visible, which indicated that she was heading to-
lReported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., oithe New York bar.
wards the New York shore, and across the America's bows. Thereafter short blasts; when the tugs were from 50 he gave a danger signal of to 100 feet apart, and then ordered his engines reversed. He did not shift his helm at all. ae also testifies (bat the Talisman swung about 8 points to port in crossing his bows, but came back somewhat under a port wheel jUst heiDte 'the collision. ,The, America's port stem fender broke iI} the Talisman's starboard quarter; the latter kept on without stopping; and the pilot ofthe Arne'rica, which was 'not injured, told the other to "mind next time how he crossed his bows." Bothtugs'rere unincumbered. The pilot of the America was unable to give ,any definite idea of the distance of the Talisman when she shut in· her red light,which indicated that she was about to cross his bows. That istheturning point as to the question of the America's fault, because it determines the question of the America's means of avoiding the collision. He thought the distance was upwards of 200 feet, but less than 1,009., W'li!en he saw that the TalisIIlan was crossing his bows, although he had the right of way, it was his duty to reverse at once, in order to avoid collision; becallse he knew,that from that moment there was clear risk of collision, and reversal ,was nece,ssary. Old Rule 21; The Aurania, 29 Fed. Rep. 99, 124, and cases there cited. Considering that the from that time until the collision, according to the testimony of the America, swung 8, points to port, and then somewhat and that during apClrtion of thistirrie she was going at nearly tight angles to tpe line: of the America's course; and coni?idering further that before the second blast of one whistle the engines been sJowe4, and, as the enginefr testifies, her steam wholly shut off, being also ebb, I feel constrained to find that there must l1avebeen and reasonable opportunity for the Americl1 to have avoided a collision had she reversed her engine as soon as the Talisman's :red light and .that the America is in fault for having layed reversing longer tha.n was justifiable. HaP. she reversed as soon as the intentof the Talisman was clear, she would have been without 231. Considering fault in this respect. The Greenpoint, 31 Fed. !!lso that the America's how struck the Talisman aft of amidships, I can hardly doubt that the America could also have avoided the collision had she 5tarboarded hel' wheel wllenthe Talisman was seen intending to Cl'OSS her bows, even without reversing her engine.. The, <;lamages and costs must tpe,refore be divided.
THE RARITAN. THE RARITA'N. , THE WILLIE.' THE RAMBLER. THE THOMAS P. BALL. BERWIND COAL Co.
THE RARITAN and others.
8. D. Ne11J}'"ork. November 19, 1887.}
Tows""':NA'RRow AI'PMAOlL The tlig R.. towing the schooner B.· met, in the Arthur Kills, a long tow in .cbarge of two other tugs. The wheelslll.an o. f .the S.Ch.ooner., who was th.e'Olily man on deck. could not :well see forward. his view being obstructed. The R. passed 'very near libelant's boat, though the evidence showed that there was from 150 to 300 feet of available water to leeward,. and the schooner sl.ruck boat. which wason the POl't side .of the tail of the tow. He;d. that the schooner was in fault in going through a narrow passage with no lookout and tlie wheelman's 'view obstructed;' that the tug R. was'ln fault in passing unjustifiably near the other tow. and for not taking measures to countoract a made by the s,chooner. _
WilcQQ:, 4dam8 &: Macklin, for Berw.ind Coal Co. Rambler. E. J).McCarty.. H.G.Ward, for Willie and the Raritan. OIlJcn Gray, for, the Thomas P· Ball.
BROWN, J.. :The collision in this case I find was about Ii half a mile -or a little over beyond Smoking Point iilthe Ar.thur Kills, and to the westward of Story's Flats. The evidence indicates that the channel way ·ofavailablewater for all the vessels; viz., a depth of 8 or 10 feet, was .,at least 500 :or600 feet wide, and the chart would indicate an even greater width. Imu.st find that this gave libundant room for the Ram·bler·with, the schooner in her tow on a hawser ,to have gone safely on ·.eitherl:lide ofthe long tow .of the Raritan and Willie, had the proper signal been first given to indicate on which side the twoworildpasseach other. No signals, however, were given by either; and the Rambler took the ordinary course to the right. The Willie and the Raritan thereupon ported, and hauled somewhat to the westward. Though the channel, like the shore, was somewhat curvilinear, and the west wind caused the tail of the tow to sag to the eastward, and a little across the channel, the evidence shows that there was undoubtedly from 150 to 300 feet of avail. able water to the eastward of the libelant's boat, which was on the port ·or leeward side of the tail of the tow, and that the Rambler with the .schooner ought to have passed clear of her without difficulty. The weight of evidence is certainly that there was a decided sheer of the schooner to port, at least from the time she was abreast of the mid· .dIe of the tow, and I cannot doubt that this was the immediate cause of