The libel, inter alia, charges negligence on the part of the tugs in the following particulars: "FirBt, in towing the said canal-boats by means of such long hawsers; 8econd, in towing said canal-boats tailed on one after the other, instead of taking them alongside; third, in having the tugs one ahead of the other, instead of being alongside each other." The answer of the claimant of the Hopson, who was her master in command on the day of the accident, specifically admits tbe truth of these allegations. Before the hawser from the Duryea was fastened to his bow these concededly negligent acts were perfectly obvious to him. He was under no obligation to proceed. He could have insisted upon being towed in a safe and proper manner. Having deliberately and voluntarily placed himself in tbis exposed and dangerous position, it is not easy to see how he can be relieved of the charge of negligence. The libelant is entitled to a decree against the tugs Nettie and Orr and the canal-boat Hopson, with costs, and a reference to compute the damages.
THE FARRAGUT. l WRIGHT
et al. v.
, (Dutrict Court, 8. D. New York. June 8, 1888.)
CoLLISION-BETWEEN STEAMERS-ATTEMPTING TO CROSS Bow-DELAY IN NAI,ING.
The steam-boat M.was coming with the ebb-tide down the Brooklyn side of the East river, preparatory to rounding to her slip on the New York shore. The Fulton ferry-boat F., on her way from New York to Brooklyn. about two-thirds of the way across from the New York shore. and 200 or 800 feet further from the Brooklyn shore than the M., was headed nearly .upl'iver, the F. nearly straight .down. The F., by a signal of two Whistles. directed the M. to go to the left between her and the Brooklyn shore; but the latter, when about 250 yards distant from the F., ported her wheel to round ahead of the ferry-boat. As soon as this was observed by the ferry-boat, she backed, but her bow struck the port side of the M., causing the injury for which this suit was brought. Held, that the whole fault was the M!s: that each having·the other on her own starboard side. when only some 250 yards apart, the M. should have kept her course. and was to blame for unnecessarily and unjustifiably attempting to cross the bows of the ferry-boat, and for not signaling much earlier, if that had been her intention; and that the latter was without fault,' since there was'no apparent risk of collision until the M.'s sudden change of course, and the F .. as soon as this was perceptible, stopped, and backed strong. '
In Admiralty. Libel for damages. Goo. A. Black, for libelants. B. D. Silliman,for claimant.
BROWN, J. At about half past 8 o'clock in the morning of Apri118, 1886, the libelant's side-wheel passenger steamer Morrisania, in making
lReported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.
her trip to pier 22, East river, justabov:e Fulton ferry on the New York side, came in collision with the ferry-boat Farragut, which was crossing the Fulton Jerry from New York tQBrooklyn. The tide was strong ebb; The Farragut had got about two-thirds across the river towards the Brooklyn.shore, and was heading nearly straight up river, when, her bows struck the port oftlie Morrisania at an angle of about 45 degrees. ,The place of collision is most nearly fixed by Mr. Delaney, who saw the collision from the gateway of the Annex slip, which is immediately below the Farragut's slip on the Brooklyn side. Above the Brooklyn bridge the Morrisania had crossed to within a few hundred feet ,of the Brooklyn shore, and come under the bridge probably not over 400 ,feet distant from the Brooklyn abutment, heading about straight down ,river, and ,designing to round to agp,inst the ebb-tide,so as to land her 00 the New :York side. Such was the usual and proper mode of landing upon the strong, ebb. Before the f\1orrisania reached the bridge Elhe was seen by the pilot of the Farragut, who was then about 1,200 feet below the bridge, and who gave a signal of two whistles, designed, as he alleged, for the M:orrisania. The witnesses for the Morrisania testify that a tug-boat was at that time crossing the bow of the Farragut towards tliet Brooklyn shore, and that the tug-boat answered the Farragut's two whistles with a similar signal, and that they understood that thOse signals had! been designed as signals between those boats. The witnesses of the Farragut say that the tug-boat was not in a situation to require Signals to be given to her, and'that' none were given t,Q. her; but, tha,t, getting no answer from the Morrisania, they shortly afterwards gave her a second signal of two whistles; that very soon thereilifter'the,Mortisania was perceived to be sheering towards the New York ,$hore,'andat the same time a signal of one whistle was received from ,'her;wheretipon the Farragut's engines were reversed, as soon as possible, and that at the moment of c611ision she was under sternway. The witl1e$SeS for the' Morrisania state that after the two signals of two blasts,each, between the' Farragut and the ,tug, the Morrisania, when a little below the bridge, gave a signal of one whistle to the Farragut, and , p1;lt l1l'lr wheel hard a-port; that the Farragut answered immediately with a. signal of two whistles; that the Morrisania then slowed and stopped ,her engines, and blew another signal of one. whistle, and that the Farra.:gl,lt continued to come a length, when she stopped and ,backed; that at the last signal of one whistle the boate were estimated to 'be'about 100 yards apart, and at the Morrisania'sfirst whistle, from 300 to 400 yards. Taking into account the strong ebb, the Morrisania was making about twice the speed by land. that the F,arragutwas making. The place of collision being only' about 600 feet below the bridge,. and the Morrisania's first signal being given '\vhen she. was somewhat below the bridge, the two boats could not have been more thim about 250 yards apart ,at the Morrisania's ;fil'stsignul, the FarJ,'agut being at least 150 below her slip. The mate' of the Morrisariia saYlf that the latter.was already swinging to starboard under a port wheel, having the Farthe ragut nearly ahead, and iti!3 (llearupon all the.testimony that
Morrisania passed under the brIdgE:, belore she'whistled, she was from 200 to 300 feet nearer to the Brooklyn shore than the Farragut, and that each then had the other on her own starboard hand" the one heading nearly straight up riYer, the other nearly straight down. I 1. Upon the foregoing facts, the whole blame for the collision, in my judgment, must rest with the Morrisania. There was nothing in the way to prevent the boats from passing each other starboard to starboard, by keeping the directions they had when the Morrisania was under the bridge, and not more than 400 or 500 yards distant from the Farragut. There was at that time no risk of collision, as each was heading' so as to clear the other withou t change of course, and the Farragut did not need to make her swing towards her slip so soon as to interfere with the Morrisania's course to round astern of her. In thie respect the casediffers from that of The John S. Darcy, 29 Fed. Rep. 644. The collision was brought about by the Morrisania's swinging to starboard under a port wheel to cross the Farragut's bowe. There was no necessity for this dangerous maneuver. She could have rounded to and made her wharf on the New York shore just as well by keeping on her course between the Farragut and the Brooklyn shore, so as to round to astern of the Farragut. Nothing but a fixed and well-known custom to pass ahead of ferry-boats in the situation of the Farragut could warrant the MOrliisania, · under such circumstances, in attempting to pass the Farragut's bows, or require the latter to give way. The evidence does not establish 8.I1Y'siich custom, even if such a dangerous practice, if establillhed, could be upheld aslawful. The Morrisallia;moreover, if designing to cross ahead of the Farragut, was bound to give a signal indicating her intention much earlier than she did." Her witnesses estimate the distance when she signaled at only 300 or 400 yards, while the proof, 1 think, shows that they were not at the time of her ,first signal over 250 yards apart'. This was far less than the inspector's rules require, and farless than was ,practicable. The Morrisania had no right, under the circumstances,' to change her course,and cross the Farragut's bows, unless she could d6; so safely, and without obstructing the Farragut's course. The result,sh,;)ws that the Morrisania was not only wholly unable to do so, but that the collision occurred even thonghthe stopped and backed 'co.nailierably, if she did not get actualsternway. . .. 2. The Farragut, so far as I cansce, did all that she was called onto,do to avoid the collision. She had no reason to apprehend any danger until the Morrisania. swung to starboard. i Before that the Farragut;, according to her own testimony, had twice signaled to the Morrisania, the first signal being before the latter had reached the bridge. It was doubtless. the duty of the Farragut to.stop and back as soon as she had reason to believe that the Morrisania would not keep to the eastward, and :was mep.ning to cross her track. But-as the maneuver of swinging to starboard across the Farragut's bows: was unjustifiable,'and was .not to be expected, .and as the collision was, primarily brought on by wrongful maneuver, before the Farragut can be held, it must appear with reasonable clearness and certainty that the Farragut did: not
stop and back as soon as the determination of the Morrisania to cross her bows was plain. The proof does not, I think, establish this point. The testimony of the officers of the Farragut is that they stopped and backed instantly, as soon aEt the swing of the Morrisania was perceived, and there is no indication that they were not properly watching her movementrs. The Morrisania obeys her helm quickly. The space within which her change was made was very short. 'Phe time must have been brief, probably hardly more than twenty or thirty seconds; and nevertheless the Farragut five or six revolutions backward. I cannot find, therefore, on her part any negligence or want of promptness in the observance of the rules as soon as the risk of collision was discernible. The Greenpoint; 31 Fed. Rep. 231; The John S. Darcy, 29 Fed. Rep. 644. The libel is dismissed, with costs.
ARDAN S. S. Co., Limited,
(Di8trtct Oourt, 8.
THEBAND etal. 1
York. May 29, 1888.)
BHIPPING-CHARTER·PARTY-BILL OF LADING.
As between ship-owner and charterer shipping his own goods. the charter controls the bill of lading where there is difference between them.
SAME-LmERTY TO ASSIST OTHER VESSELS.
A clause ina bill of lading giving the vessel "liberty to call at any port 0.1' ports for whatever purpose. * * * and to tow and assist vessels in all situations." when the charter gives no such liberty. will not warrant, as the charterer, a material deviation to assist a disabled vessel. Liberty givena vessel to call "at any port or ports." or to tow and assist vessels" in all situations. "refers to ports along the course of the voyage specilied, or vessels met with in the ordinary course of such voyage. Hence, where a vessel after loading proceeded 40 miles directly out of her course to take in tow a disabled vessel. and was detained by such towage about seven days. held anunjustHiable deviation, rendering the vessel liable to the charterer for the increased premiums of insurance. and interest on his goods during the delay.
In Admiralty. Action for balance of freight. Whitehead, Parker &; Dexter, for libelant. Wing, 8/uiu,dy &; Putnam, for respondents. BROWN, J. In November, 1887, the respondents, by written charter, agreed to furnish the British steam-ship Ardanach a full cargo of hemp in bales from Progresso, Mexico, to New York. On the 23d or 24th of November a cargo 'Was accordingly shipped at Progresso, a portion of which was to be delivered to the respondents. A bill of lading therefor was signed hy the master, which reserved "liberty to call at any port or ports for whatever purpose, to sail with or without pilots, and to tow and assist Yessels in all situations." The charter did not contain any such reser,I
Reported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.