VAN ,DYKE V. THE BRIDGEPORT
account for the comparatively very small sums awarded for damages in suits like this. It is not a' court in which to make much money by speculative damage suits for personal injuries. The libelant will be'allowed $100 damages, and his costs of suit. So ordered.
VAN DYKE V. THE BRIDGEPORT
(District Oourl, B. D. New York. May '12, 1888.)
COLLI8IOII'......VESSEL AT .ANCHOB.,....FOG.
Where a steamer was running ina bank of fog as slowly as it was possible for her'to do under the circumstances, a collision between such steamer and a schooner at anchor held to be an inevitable accident. imposing no liability for damages upon the steamer
Libel by the schooner Messenger, which, while proceeding through the East river to the Sound, on the flood-tide, in charge of the tug John E. Mulfdrd, had anchored in a thick fog off the Sunken Meadows,and while at anchor had been run into by the steam-boat Bridgeport. !1'he suit' was begun against the steam-boat alone. The latter, by petition uuder the fifty-ninth admiralty rule, brought in the tug Mulford, which had the schoonerin charge,as party defendant. Sidney altubb, for libelant. 'Benedict, Taft &: Benedict, for the Bridgeport. E. G. Davis, for the JohnE. Mulford.
BENEDICT,J. This is an action to recover damages occasioned to the schoorierMessenger by being run into by the steam;.boat Bridgeport, When at anchor off the Sunken Mead()wB, above Hell Gate. These vessels, while proceeding towards the Sound, were all caught in a bank of fog that came suddenly upon them. The fault charged upon the Bridgeport is that she was running in the fog at too great a rate of speed, but the proofs satisfy me that she was going as slowly as it was poSsible for her to do under the circumstances. My opinion is that the collision should be held to be an inevitable accidllnt. Let the libel be dismissed, with costs.
(Distriot Oourt· .E. D. New York. ApriU8. 1888.)
COLLISION-STEAM UD SAIL-Tows.
A collision occllrred in the Hudson river. in broad daylight and fairweather, between a tow, bound down stream, and a schooner, bound up. The schooner wus approaching th", tow under jib alone, at a rate of about four miles an hour, whereas the tow thought she was at anchor, and. consequcntly kept up her own speed and course towards the schooner until collision was imminent. Held, that the cause of the collision was want of proper lookout on the towboat, for which she was liable.
When collision was imminent, the schooner was luffed into the wind, in an effort to stop' her headway, and lessen the damage likely to ensue. Held, no fault <m t.h.e part of the schooner.
In Admiralty. Libel for damages. Carpenter Mosher, for libelant. Wing, Blurud:y Putnam, for the schooner.
BENEDICT, J. This is an action by the owner ofthe steam canal-boat Deland, and the canal-boat J. W.Brakey, to recover damages for a collision which o,ccurred between the schooner Gladys and the J.W. Brakey, laden with a cargo of corn, and at that time in tow of the Deland, bound down the North river above Stevens Point, on the westerly side of the Hudson river. The collision occurred in broad daylight, in fair weather. It was no doubt caused by & mistake on the part of those in charge of the tow, supposing that the schooner Gladys, Been ahead of them, was at anchor, when in fact she was sailing under ajib, and approaching the tow at a speed of about four knots an hour. Under this mistake'the tow kept up her speed and course towards the schooner, until a" collision was imminent. When collision was imminent, and not before, the schooner was luffed into the wind, and her jib let go. This was not an effort on, the part of the.schooner to pass across the course of the tug, but simply all effort to stop the headway of the schooner, when keeping on ,would only tend to increase the damage caused by the collision. It was no violation of duty on the part of the she did. The obligation to hold her schooner to come into the wind course had ceased; that duty had been performed. When the schooner came into the wind, it had become her duty to do all she could to lessen the damages likely to result, and luffing was the best course to accomplish such result. The luffing, therefore, was no fault on the part of the sailing vessel, and it did not cause the collision. The cause of the eollision was the steam canal-boat's omission to take seasonable steps to avoid the sailing vessel, and the cause of her failure to do this was want ()f a proper lookout. The libel must be dismissed, and with costs.
'Reported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of tAe New York bar.