ThesecoJld was p1ainly the result of the first, which was naturally followed by more or less of excitement and confusion. The first hails given to the Jamestown were to starboard her wheel; but after she struck the Glenullen she was hailed to put her wheel hard a-port, and the quartermaster testifies that this was done, though there is doubt how soon that order was given, and whether the first order to port was not misunderstood; but under the swing to port from the first starboard wheel the Jamestown did not recover in time to avoid the Hudson. When she struck-the latter, the Jamestown's wheel was not quite hard a-port. The time from the one collision to the other was probably not over one and a half or two minutes. This furnishes another indication that no proper lookout was kept by the Jamestown, and that the latter did not see the Hudson's lights till close aboard of her. Although it is possible that the second collision might have been avoided by careful observation and judgment, and by very quick handling of the Jamestown immediately after the first collision with the Glenullen, it is nevertheless impossible, considering the excitement and confusion naturally consequent on the first collision, to acquit the McCaldin of blame in having brotlght the' Jamestown into that situation; and the McCaldin must therefore he hf'ld liable for the second collision as well as for the first, though the Jamestown would have been also heldjointly liable were she a party. I do not' find it necessary to determine the controverted question whether the tug did or did not cast off the Jamestown's hawser before she hit the Hud80n,' instead of continuing up to the last moment to try to pull her to starboard, as was, doubtless, her duty. In the broad and ample channel of the North river, I do not think a vessel nearly or quite two-thIrds of the way across from the New York shore is under any obligation to maintain an anchor watch, in addition to an anchor light. There is no reasonable necessity for it, and it is not customary, so far as I can learn. The Erastus Corning, 25 Fed. Rep. 572. Decrees for the libelants in each case, with costs, with orders of reference to compute the damages not agreed on.
(District Court, N.
York. June, 8, 188l:l.
COLLISION-TuGS 'AND Tows-Too LARGE Tow-NARROW CHANNEL-LoOKOUTS. ,_
Libelants' scow, loaded with sand, was being by the tug Griffin, to libelants' dock on the northerly ban k of the Erie canal,.in the city of B'ufIalo, opposite slip No.3. Immediately beyond the slip the ,canal; waS blocked with boats, rendering navigation in that direction impossible. While the Griffin was endeavoring to land her tow, the tug Gilson, 0Jlly 27 feet long" with two loaded canal-boats in tow, was coming down the slip,'with the current, at about four and one·half miles an hour. While in the when 175 feet from the Griffin, Gils!>n went, back to the rear apd endeavored to check the tow; but the head canal-boat was earned across theeaual, struck the Griffin, and forced her against libelants' scow, causing the latter to sink. ','Held,
was clearly infault-Fi1'8t, in undertaking to tow, with the curtent ai 'such speed: tW'olo'aded,'canaI·boat& through a narrow water-way , full of vessels, and where a right'angle turn was necessary; 8econd,in not see· ing !IlQIIltion of the Griffin andsc,ow, when she entered the slip 600 feet away. Heir)" also. that the Griffl ll was likewise in fault in not maintaining a watchful'lookout for vessels entering'the slip.
Where the evidence tends to ;show that libelants' scow was old, decayed, and improperly constructed, aI1d tha.t she sank from a.blow which would not ha'l7e injured a stanch and seaworthy craft, and the IJbclants have not had a full opportunity to meet this evidence, which would, unexplained, warrant a decree f(lra moiety, the court will, reserve the question of damages and costs until the coming iJl of the commissioner's report.
Libel for collision. ' Joifiah Coole, for the George D. Gilson. George S.Potter, for the JohnB. Griffin.
GeorgeOlinf..on, for the libelants,
CoXE, The libelants this action against the steam-tugs Gil· son and Griffin, ,to recover damages occasioned by their alleged negligence in collision by reason of Which the Ann Walker, a sand-scow owned by thEllibelants, 'fas injured. On the afternoon of May 5, 1887, the$<::9w, with sand, 'fas bdng towed by the tug Griffin. The tojhe starboard side of the scow, her stem five feet tug,was aft of the ster» of t4e scow. Their destination was the libelants' dock, on the Q()rt4erly bank of the Erie Canal, in the city of Buffalo, nearly opposite slip No.3. The. barge Bawlr lay moored a little westerly of this point. Immerjiately beyond the slip, and but a short distance from itf3 the canal was blocked with boats, rendering navigation in that direction impossible. The was, endeavoring to make a landing for her tow, and wa,s !,Oengaged.forabout 10 minutes. During this time tl;letug two loadedQllnal-1;>oatsin tow, one behind the other, was coming down the slip at aqout four an<l one-half miles an hour. Whilein the when distant from the Griffin 175 feet, the Gilson threw oft' her line, went back to the rear canal-boat, and endeavored to check the progress of the tow. It was then too late. The head canal-boat was carried across the canal, struck the tug Griffin, and forced her against the causing the latter to sink.' The current through the slip is towards the canal, and on the day in qnestion was about three miles an hour. '1'he slip, from the canal to the Erie basin, is about 600 or 700 feet in length, and 75 feet wide. The view tluough it, under the bridges, was, on the day in qti'estion, unobstr1.lCted. The canal, at the point slip, is about 150 feet wide. T,he distance from thebow of the Gilson to the stern of the second canal-boat, including the towlit;le; was The ,Gilson the I3roallest tug employed in the harboro! Ru!t1illp,and was built originally fora sail-boat. Sheis 27 feet long, 'and'S feet beam. The. Griffin is 64!'feet long, and 13 feet The Walker is 91 !eet).O)nches in length, and 19 feet 1 inch beam. The.barge Hawk is 108 ,feetlO inches long, and 22 feet 3 inches beam.. The ,sitliation may be more clearll11nae:\stood by an examination ofthe fo)I,QwiJ;lg di!1gram. . .
'The tug tillSon was clearly in fault-JiirBt. In undertaking to tow with :the current, at arelativeJyhigh rate of speed, :two loaded canal-boats, through a narrow water-way full of 9tationary and IIlovingvessels, and where aright-angle turn was necessary. ,She was too small ft'tug to attempt such a task. Second. In not seeing the position of the Griffin and WaJker when she entered the slip, 600 feet 'away. If her crew had been on the lookout when 'she left the Erie basin,she could have controlled her tow, and· prevented the accident. When she did discover the situation she was but 175 feet distant from the Griffin. The danger was then imminent. The time,was insufficient for atiy effective measures ,to secilre aaMy. The space in which to maneuver' was inadequate.-The Gilson should not have'started with two loaded boats on such II journey. Having done so, however, it was her dutY. to proceed with the utmost care. She took no precautions, Her course throughout was oIiedfextreme recklessness. ' It is not easy to perceive how negligence can be imputed til the Gilson inculpating the Griffin also. If the Gilson should have seen the Griffin, it was equally the duty of the latter to have maintained a watchful lookout. If the master of the Griffin had discovered the Gilson when she first entered the slip, he would have known that there was certain peril for him if he continued in the poeition he then occupied. He would have known that the Gilson-the smallest tug navigating the harborwas advancing with two loaded canal-boats; tliat she intended to swing this disproportionately large tow around a corner where the currents meet
at right angles; and that, by reason of his position at that point, the channel-at best a narrow one-was reduced to nearly one-half its ordinary width. In short, he would have known that, unless he took some steps to prevent it, a collision was inevitable. There is little reason to doubt that if he had discovered the Gilson when she was 600 feet dishis own vessel and the scow from their haztant, he could have ardous position. To adopt the language of the brief submitted by the counsel for the Griffin: "The Gilson was engaged in the unheard-of proceeding of attempting to tow two loaded canal-boats through the swift current ofthe slip intoa canal crowded with boats. The masters ofsome of our largest tugs would not have dreamt of doing such a thing with their vessels." Had the master of the Griffin been on the alert, he must have discpveredthisobviously heedless proceeding; at least he might have given timely warning of the-situation toihe Knowing, as he might have known, and as he should have known, how impossible it was for the Gilson to proceed in safety with the channel so obstructed, it was clearlr his duty to vacate the position which he occupied. He deliberately placed his tug directly acrpss the channel at a dangerous point, in tIle track of moving vessels, an<l did rio act to avert disaster. Being in a dangerous place, he should have taken extraordinary means to secure safety. He took no means at atl. 'The situation was not unlike that of The Troy, 28 Fed. Rep. S.ee,also, The B. <to a., 18 Fed. Rep. 543; The Morgan, 6 Fed. Rep. 200j'The'Titan, 23 Fed. Rep. 413; Wel18 v. Armstrong, 29 Fed. Rep. 210; The Vigus, 22 Fed. Rep. 747. "i''l'heevidence telldstoshow that the scow Walker was old, decayed, ,and improperly constructed, and that she sank from a blow that would :npt have injured Ii staoch and seaworthy craft. The libelants did not have Po full opportunity to meet this testimony, and, as in all probability it will affect ,the question of daulages alone, they have requested that thecpusideration of this branch of the controversy be postponed until cOpling in of the commissioner's report. Na rights can be jeoparded ,llygranting this request., If the evidence now before the court remains unexplained,the court may see fit to limit the decree to a moiety of the ,damllges., The Syracuse, 18 Fed. Rep. 828; The N. B. Starbuck, 29 Fed. 3,0 Fed. Rep. 844. In other respects the ,Rep.797; The City of Walker seems, to be free fropl fault. It cannot be said that it was negligence, ,to make a landing at the point in question. There shquld be a decree against the two tugs, and a reference to compute the damages. The question of costs may be reserved until the comin of the commissioner's report.
(Di8trlct Court, D. South Carolina. June 21. 1888.)
BANKRUPTCy-REFERENCE TO MASTER-REGISTER AS MASTER.
The iss'Ues arising on a petition to rletermine a question respecting asset. claimed to be part of a bankrupt estate, may be referred to a register as special master, to take the testimony, and report his conclusions of law and fact thereon. Depositions taken under order of a special master cannot be opened by him. though they are in his hands as clerk of the court. Under Rev. St.U. S. § providing that depositions must be sealed and remain under seal until opened in court. a deposition not sealed will be suppressed; otherwise if it bear the seal of an express company across which are, written the names of the commission.
DEPOSITIONS-RIGHT TO OPEN.
4.SAME-:-TIME QF TAKING.
WheTe it is stipulated that the parties shall close their testimony by a cert.ain time, depositions taken before, but not those taken after, such time, are '. admissible on a, subsequent hearing.
if'REFERENCE-POWER TO 'SET ASIDE.
, An of reference in a case within the jurisdiction of the judge making it, cannot be held void by another judge before whom the case comes on spe_ cial repC?!:t of the refere.e.
In, BankrupWY. Mitchell « for assignee. J. P.K. Brya,n,.for W. M. Thomas. SIMONTON, J. ,This cll-secomes up on a special report of E. M. Seabrook, Esq., one of the registers. of this court, as to certain questions arh,ing during the conduct of references in a cause in bankruptcy on the side referred to him by an order of this court dated 29th October, 1884. The petition was filed for the purpose of determining somel/uestion respecting certain assets claimed to be a part of the bankrupt estate. The answer being in, the cause came before the Hon. G. S. BRYAN, district judge, on 29th April, 1884, who made this order: "On hearing the motion foJ;' an order of reference herein, notice of which has been duly given, and on motion of Mitchell & Smith, for petitioner Absalom Blythe, it is ordered that the issues arising upon the petition herein, and the answer of W. M. Thomas, the defendant, thereto, be referred to Regiatel' Seabrook, witl1 instructions to take the testimony to be offered by the partjes, and report his cqnclusions of law and fact upon said issues." Mr. Seabrook was; not the register theretofore in charge of this case. This order having been made, no steps were taken under it until 23d August. 1886. On th!1t day it was agreed between counsel that Mr. Bryan, on behalf of W. M. Thomas, should close his testimony on 1st Octobert 1886, and that Mr. Mitchell on. behalfof the assignee, should his testimony by, 1st November, 1886. Oral testimony was taken on bQt1;l siqes. Testimony by depositions was, also taken. These depositions were on due notice. The persons taking. theIn. ,were attended bycQun. v.35F.no.5-22 .