on the starboard tack, and it was a propel' for him to puthis wheel to port. so as to pass astern of the Stafford, as the Morning Star was on the port tack, and obliged to keep out of the way of the Stafford on the starboard tack, unless he knew the Stafford had the wind free. If the Stafford had been sounding a signal of three blasts, the master of the :Morning Star would have understood it was his duty to keep his course, and that it was the duty of the Stafford to keep out of the way, accordingto rule 17 ofthe new rules of March 1,1883; but the master of the Morning Star was misled, and caused to change his course, by the erroneous signal of the Stafford; and while the change of the Morning Star's course may have brought about the collision, such change was made through the fault of the Stafford in not sounding the proper signal required by usage and the sailing rules. A decree for damages may be entered in favor of the libelant.
THE AMERICA. l MILLS
((]i1'cuit Court, S. D. New York. Mar.ch 18,1889.)
COLLISION--.,.BETWEEN TuGS-CROSSING Bows.
A tug whir-h. on sightiu&, another tug showing itued crosses tl,1,e latter's bow to the starboard mstead of passing port to port. III in fault for a collision occurring thereupon.' . .
SAME-DELAY IN REVERSING-EMERGENcy-FAILURE TO CHANGE COURSE.
The tug A., when 300 to 400 yards from the tug T·· which showed both lights. blew a single! whistle. Getting no response. it slowed, and blew again, still seeing both lights: but the red theu became invisible. and the T. gave two whistles. The A. immediately thereon reversed. and gave the 48;nger signal. The 'testimony as to the distance of apart varied from 150 to bet,ween 500 and 1,000 feet. A collision occurring, held. that the A,was not in fault for not reversing sooner. or in not starboardinjt her helm when theT. indicated an intention to cross her bow.
In Admiralty. Libel for damages. On appeal from district cQurt. '32 Fed. Rep. 845. This is an action. by the owner of the steam-tug Talisman to. recover from the steam.tug, America the damages'sustained bya collilsion between the two tugs on the night of March 5, 1886, in the NorthJ:iver. The Talisman left Weehawken at 11:15 P. M., bound fo):', pier 5, N. R.,. and ,had passed Castle Point, lying about 400 or 500 yards from the Jersey 'Shore, and heltding generally down the river,bllt angling slightly for the New York shore. The America left Jersey City, bound for'l]l;Iirty-Fifth 'street, New York. She went up along the Jersey shore abou,t 300 feet or so off the piers, lintil near the Lackawanna docks, when she sheered
:' ,1. MOdifying
82. Fed. Rep·. 845.
street ferry. The witnesses differradicaIly as to the respective signals given. ,According to the navigator of the Talisman, he first signaled, blowing two whistles, received an answer of one, again blew two, and to that received an answer of two. He had starboarded, about the time of the first signal, and did not alter his 'helm until in the jaws of the collision, when he ported to swing his stern out of the way. He also slowed upon the non-assenting answer, and hooked up when his signal of two whistles was, as: he supposed, agreed to. Tbenavigator of the America testified that he first signaled,and with one whistle, when at a distance of about 400 yards; the Talismim being then opposite the Bremen docks. That, receiving no answer, he slowed, and again blew one whistle. To tba1r'he received a signal of two whistles, whereupon he stopped, backed" and blew an alarm-whistle-three sharp blasts. W. W. Goodrich, for libelant. cited The Non-Pare-We, 33 Fed. Rep. 526; The W. H. Vanderbilt, ante, 118. Henry G. Ward, for claimant, cited The Britannia, 34 Fed. Rep. 552; The Gen. U. S. Grant, 6 Ben. 467; The Free State, 91 U. S. 203.
LACOMBE, J., (after stating thefacts as above.) I have no doubt from the testimony that the last signal: blown by the America was an alarm of three short blasts, which was misunderstood by those on the Talisman as an affirmative response to: their two-whistle signal., The evidence as to the situation of the tugs when they first sighted each other is conflicting, the witnesses for the Talisman insisting that the America showedhet those 'on the latter tha:tshe showed the red.. There are no new proofs in this court, and the district judge's co'ncltlsion, vb;., that she showed the red, seems in accord with the weight of evidence. Having! the America on her starboard hand, the Talisman was bound to keep out of the and ,thedecil:\ion of'the district judge that she was in fault for not porting, and for undertaking to cross the America's bows to 'starboard'instead of passing port to port, is sustained. '.' ; . ,The America,as her witnesses swear, while yet from 300 to 400 yards off,-both lights on the Talisman'sho'l'Ving,-blew a single whistle. Getting no response, her navigator ordered the engines slowed, and blew tigain,-'-still.seeing both of the Talisman's colored lights. Directly after the last signal he observed the Talisman's red light shut in, leaving her green 'light ,visible, and heard her signal of two whistles, the change of course and signal indicating for the first that she was hauling towards the New Yorki3hol'e and across the:Amellica'sbows.. Thereupon the captain (lfthe America gave a i dlinger-signnlof three short blasts, and ordered -bis'engine reversed. I Illnunabie i to agree with the district judge in the that he delayed reversing longer than was juetifiable. Ho.w far'apart thevesseis '\Vereat the time is not entirely clear; the estimates vary-from 150 to "over 500. and less than 1,000, feet." That the ,order however, ,f011owed· . immediately, ,upon .the manifesting her intent to cross the America's bows, is testified to affirmatively by the latter's witnesses, is contradicted by no one,innd I find nothing
off for New York"headingfot the high. red light on top Of Twenty-Third
in the other testimony indicating that ,th,eir'evide1l.Ce in that respect is incredible. The America held on the course which would take hedrom the fourth situation, where she was, to the right of the other, as required by inspectors I 'rule II. She slowed while awaiting an answer to her single whistle, and reversed when the chauge of lights and, two-whistle signals of the Talisman indicated that the latter was about to disregard the rules, and navigate so as to involve risk of collision. The America therefore fulfilled her whole duty, unless she was also bound, as the,district judge found, to starboard her wheel as soon as the Tali,sman indithat cated an intention to cross her bows. It has been repeatedly there is no such thing as right oJ way to run collisions, of the situation after the event no doubt shows and a careful that, had the America changed her course by starboarding, the collision might have been avoided. 'In determining, however, whether or not it was faulty navigation' ,not to make such change, the Bituation must be from the point of view of the individual w1W is first called upon to decide the question. ' Rules prescribing courses are enacted for of avoiding collision, and are framed on the itheory thata scrupulous .adherence to them will reJ;lder such a mishap impossible. Before a navigator departs from a, rule directing' him, t,o hold a particu,Jar course, the existing situation should afford reasonable assurance that such a change will prevent an accident otherwise imminent, and will not itself tend to produce the very mishap it was intended to avoid by cooperating,witha belated effort on the part of the other vessel to return to her true course, or to reverse,-an effort induced perhaps by the very ,danger-signal he has given. Tried by this test, I do not think the facts in this caSe warrant a finding that the America was in fault for not shifting her helm to starboard at the moment the lights and whistles of the Talisman indicated an intent to cross her bows. The Talisman is there, fore solely in fault. Decree accordingly, with costs.
& T. R. & S. S. Co.
(District CO'Urt, D. Soutl& Carolina.
OF AWARD. , ' "
March 2, 1889.)
Where a rescue Is made by a steam-ship, and there Is no danger or risk or ttouble to the crew, and $2,000 are awarded as salvage, inclilding the charge for a tug, the owners should be awarded four-tifths of ·. ' And the master having undertaken the service on his own responsibility. and having been commended for it, is entitled to $200. The remainder should be divided am9ng the other officers and employes.-the steam-ship having no passengers,-in proportion to their wages.
On distribution of an award for salvage.