andbeingoIi the starboard bow of the Eiderjblltit was none theles8
her duty to keep her course and speed, atldnotto interfere with the action of the Eider,which was endeavoring to leave room for her passage, and would probably have stlcceeded had the Pavonia not changed her speed. It was incumbent on the Pavonia, under article 22 of the regulations, to hold her COUTse; and, Jailing to do this, she committed an error. The rules of navigation imply that ,an over.takenvessel shall hold her course and maintain her speed. The Britannia, 34 Fed. Rep. 552. The officers of the Pavonia should have been more vigilant in observing whether any other vessel \vascomingup astern, or on her quarter, before stopping her engine. While the law does not require a special lookout to be stationed aft, it will not excuse the want of ordinary prudence on the part of those whose business, it is to determine whether they can chapge the course or speed of their own vessel whhou.t impro.perly embarrassing the movements of a following .one. There was. no imminent peril confronting the Pavoniademanding instant action, and excusing an error of judgment. The accident happened in broad dayUght,and the rema.rkahle fact that no one on thePavoniasaw the Eider, untila,fter the collision, can only be accountedforo.n' the supposition that theofficers and crew of the ferry-boat had sought shelter from the intense cold, and were looking in only one direction. Ftom the whole evidence, it wotild seem that each vessel was consulting its own convenience, without due consideration of the movements of the otheri and, as both were" in fault, the damages must be divided.
THE SAMMIll:. THE
et al. v.
THE SAMMIE AND THE
(Circuit Court, B. D. New York, . March 18, 1889.)
COLLISION'-TuGs-LEAVE TO CROSS COURSE.
The tug S., having the tug B. on her starboard, at a distance of 700 to 900 feet, gave two whistles, to which the B. respouded with two whistles. The S. thereupon starboarded its wheel, so as to approach somewhat nearer shore, and continued its course. The B. continued its course nearly at right angles to the S., and when 50 to 100 feet apart the S. reversed, but the tows collided. 250 to 300 feet from shore. Held that. having leave for the S. to cross its course. the B. was in fault for continuing in ItS course instead of reversing under a starboard helm; that the collision was not proof that the agreed course was unsafe, especially as all the witnesses agreed that it was safe; and the stoppage of the S. was so near the moment of collision as to be considered a measure in extremi8.
In Admiralty. Libel for damages. 35 Fed. Rep. 327.
On appeal from district court.
35 Fed. R.ep. 327.
Libel by Robert MacMaster and others, owners of the bark· Mary 'MacMa,ster, against the tug R. W. Burke and the tug Sammie, for a collision between the bark and a car-float, while the bark was in tow of the Burke and the float was iIi tow of the Sammie. Decree against both tugs, and both appeal. E. D. McCarthy, fortha Sammie. cited The B. B. Saunders, 23 Blatchf. 387, 25 Fed. Rep. 727; The Tug Brothers, 2 Biss. 106; The Albemarle, 8 Blatchf. 200; The City of Harifo'rd, 11 Blatchf. 72; The Greenpoint, 31 Fed. Rep. 231; The Susquehanna, 35 Fed. Rep. 320. Biddle & Ward, for the R. W. Burke, cited (in addition) The Rosecrans, 34 Fed. Rep. 766.
LACOMBE, J. The libelant's bark, lashed to the starboard side of the tug R. W. Burke, while proceeding from Buttermilk channel to pier 4, East river, cama into collision withe. railroad float along-side the steamtug Sammie, receiving damages for which this libel was filed. The Burke's course from Buttermilk channel was to the eastward of Diamond Reef buoy, passing about 500 or 600 feet off, and continuing on up the river till about opposite pier 6, when she rounded to, so as to head to the flood-tide when making her slip at the lower side of pier 4. She was then heading across and a little down. The Sammie rounded the Battery, some 300 or 400 yards off, and bore up the river nearer in to the piers than the Burke was when she rounded to. The Sammie first sighted the Burke, and gave her a signal of two whistles. Getting no answer, she, about half a minute afterwards, repeated the signal of two blasts, to which the Burke promptly responded with a like signal of two blasts. The distance between the vessels at the time of the interchange pf signals is in dispute, the witnesses for the bark making it about 500 or 600 feet, and those for the Sammie about twi':le that distance.. There seems no reason for rejecting the conclusion upon that point of the district judge, who finds it from 700 to 900 feet. The Sammie, after the exchange of signals, starboarded her wheel so as to approach somewhat nearer to the shore, and continued on, making up the river. The Burkecontinued moving in towards shore, heading nearly at right angles to the Sammie, and when she had reached a point within about 50 or 100 feet of the Sammie, the latter stopped and reversed, the bark and car-float thus coming into vollision apout. opposite pier 6 and between 250 and 300 feet off shore. On behalf of the Burke it is claimed that immediately upon giving the answedngsignals she stopped, reversed full speed, and put her wheel hard a-st.arboard. This is disputed hy the Sammie's witnesses, and the finding upon that point of the district judge, who heard the conflicting testimony, will not be disturbed, especially as it seems impossible to reconcile the claim of the Burke with the fact of the collision. The distance between the tugs and their relative positions when they agreed on ,their, respective courses was such that the prompt execution of such a maneuver as above described would have carried the Burke to the stern of the Sammie, even if it did not keep her entirely outside of her course. The learned district judge has upon this state of
facts found the Sammie liable for undertaking to pass across the bows of the Burke, instead of porting to go under her stern, or stopping until the latter had crossed the Sammie's course. Before the signals were exchanged, the Sammie, having the Burke upon her starboard hand, was bound to keep out of her way,-a duty she would have performed by porting or stopping, or both. By her signal she asked leave to pass across the Burke's bows instead. She did not proceed with her maneuver without waiting for an assenting reply, as did The Doris, 31 Fed. Rep. 301, and The Columbia, 25 Fed. Rep. 844. When the Burke assented to her proposition she was not in fault for continuing on the course agreed upon, modified by sheering further inshore, as the district judge found she did, unless some faulty navigation on her part while on such agreed course caused the collision, or unless the maneuver which she thus asked and obtained leave to execute was a one. The subsequent collision is not alone sufficient to condemn the attempt as an unsafe one, in view of the fact that the Burke did not at once execute the maneuvers necessary to keep her out of the course which the Sammie had obtained her consent to take. Moreover, all the witnesses, without exception, concur in the statement that the course agreed upon was a proper one, and entirely safe and easy; each boat insisting that the collision occurred solely because the other did not keep to it. In this respect the case is to be distinguished from The City of Hartford, 11 Blatchf. 72, and The Albemarle, 8 Blatchf. 200. Having agreed to the mode of passing, which the Sammie proposed, the Burke was in fault for continuing on her course into the water through which the Sammie must necessRrily pass in executing the maneuver, when, by a prompt stoppage, and reversal under a starboard helm, the Burke could have left the Sammie's course free and clear. It was no doubt the duty of the Sammie, after the signals were exchanged, to keep her course, (perhaps sheering towards shore as she did,) but her subsequent stoppage was so close to the moment of collision that it may fairly be considered a measure in extremis. Howard, the deck-hand on the tug "Howard," a disinterested witness, called by the Burke, testified that the Sammie was going ahead till the bowsprit of the bark was within 100 feet of the car-float, and himself thought there would be a collision even before she stopped. Libelants are entitled to a decree against the tug R. W. Burke, for their damages and interest. The decree of the district court against the tug Sammie is reversed, with costs to the Sammie as against the Burke.
'V. THE 'ARGONAUT AND THE JOHN
(District Oourt, ;N.D. Illinois. March 14, 1889.) 1.
COLLISION-IN CmCAGO RIVER-TUGS AND Tows.
The barge A;. loaded quite deeplywith iron ore, was proceeding up the south branch of the Chicago river. in tow of the tug' T. She had her steam on, but was not using it for propulsion. Her course lay along the west bank of the river. .When she reached the bend of the river between Mason's slip and Allen's slip, the curve being from west to east and back again, sbe was obliged to swing over to the middle of the stream, in order to pass a schooner, lying at a dock just at the point of the bend, the river being only about 120 feet wide. The 1., with schooper i,n tow. was just rounding the east curve, going down the river, at the rate of five or six miles an hour, and checked . her own headway fora moment. but without checking that of her tow, and then proceeded rapidly 0)1 bllrway, anp in attempting to pass on the east side of the ri ver, between the of the barge and the dock. the collision occurred. Held, that the 1. was at fault in attempting to take her tow through so perilous a passage, with the barge occupying so much space.
2. SAuE-IMPuTED FAUL'j\ . The signal by the T. for the.I. to go ahead. after she had checked ber speed, though it may have contributed 1:0 the collision, cannot be impnted as a fault to her tow, the A.
In Admiralty. Libel for collision. H. W. Wolseley, for libelants. R. Rae, for the Argonaut. Schuyler K'/,fJmer, for the JohnO. Ingram.
BLODGETT, J. The libelants, as'owners of thescbooner Moselle, bring this suit to recover damages for injuries sustained by the schooner· from Argonaut, which occurred on the 6th a collision with the day of August,.1887,. in thewatetsof the south branch of the Chicago river, on the, bend between Mason's slip and Allen's slip. It appears that the tug Ingram took the schooner Moselle in tow at some point on the south branch of Chicago river above Main-Street bridge, for the purpose of towing, her into' the ,lake. The barge Argonaut was proceeding up the river, loaldedquite deeply with iron ore, in tow of the tug Robert Tarrant. She had her steam on for emergencies, but was 110t using it fQr the purposes of and her course lay along the west bank of the river..' When she reached the knuckle or bend in the river between Mason's slip and Allen's slip, the curve being from the west towards the east and back again, she was obliged to swing from the west side of the river over towards the middle, for the purpose of passing the schooner Colin Campbell, which lay at a dock just upon the point of the bend, the river being at that point only about 120 feet wide. At this time, the Ingram, with the Moselle in tow, was just rounding the concave or east curve of the bend, and the Ingram checked her own headway for a moment, but without materially checking the headway of the schooner, and then put on steam, and proceeded rapidly down the river, and in attempting to pass upon the east sde of the river, through the space between the stern of the barge and the east dock, the collision occurred. The proof
MILLER 11. TUll: ARGONAUT AND THE .JOUN Co INGRAM.
shows that the Ingram's speed was quite fast, say five or six miles an hour, from the time she passed through the draw of the Main-Street bridge until she nearly reached the bend, when, as I have said before, the tug checked up, but the schooner, by the impetus which she had before that received, drifted quite rapidly down the stream towards the barge.. The proof also shows, I think, that· the 'master of the Tarrant, towing the Argonaut, signaled the master of the Ingram to go ahead after the Ingram had checked up. The libelant claims there was bad management and fault on the part of both the tug Ingram and the Argonaut, whereby occurred. It seems to me the proof makes a clear case of bad management on the part of the master of the tug Ingram. It was a fault on his part to attempt to pass the Argonaut on this bend; she was deeply loaded, the.water was shallow at that point, and a barge drawing as much water as she did, was liable to sheer, in swinging around a bend like this, so as almost necessarily and unavoidably to bring her stem close to the east bank, or at least so close up the passage-way as to make it difficult to take the Moselle safely through. The fact that the Argonaut was obliged to make a deflection from her course to pass the Campbell would increase her tendency to swing, or sheer, to port. All these were circumstances palpable and apparent to tha master of the Ingram, and should have been a sufficient warning to him not to attempt to take his tow through along-side the Argonaut, while she was swinging around the bend; but, instead of doing this, he vacillated. He first stopped, perh/lps thereby losing some of the headway upon his tow, and then changed his mind, either as the result .of his own conclusions,or at the suggestion or direction of the maeter of the Tarrant, and attempted by a rapid d:totion to carry his tow through the gap. The Tarrant and her tow, and the Campbell, lying at the dock on the knuckle of the bend, were all in plain sight of the Ingram from the time she passed the Street bridge, a distance of about a half mile above; and under these circumstances, it seems to me, the conduct of the master of the Ingram can be considered little less than reckless in attempting to carry his tow through so perilous a passage as that upon this bend, with the Argonaut occupying so large a space in the river as she necessarily did; and by swinging out to pass the Campbell there was unavoidably imparted to her some tendency to swing further over towards the east bank of the river. Undoubtedly the master of the Ingram, under the circumstances, should have proceeded down the river so slowly as to have had his tow completely in control, and been able to either stop her or go so slowly as to allow the Argonaut to get clear of the bend before he brought his tow along-side of her. This he did not do, for at no time does he seem to have had the tow under control. It is probable, I think, from the testimony, that the master of the Ingram intended to slow up after he had taken in the situation, but perhaps at too late a moment, and hence checked the movement of his tug, but not substantially the movement of the tow. He saw quickly, afterwards, that the tug, from the impetus she already had, was rapidly approaching the gap between the stern of the barge and the east dock, and hence he put on steam, and attempted
, by a rapid movement to carry his tug and tow through this gap before the swinging of the barge should effectually close the passage, and failed in his effort so to do, as the barge swung so rapidly as to bring the schooner violently against the port quarter of the barge. It is possible that, if the Ingram had not slowed at all, but had kept her full speed, he might have carried the Moselle clear of the barge, but this hesitation was fatal. I do not wish to be understood as saying that I think he should have kept his speed, and have attempted to pass it at this dangerous place. The prudent and proper thing was for him to have stopped and waited until the Argonaut had passed the bend. The proof shows that the Ingram, after having checked her own headway, but not materially that of her tow, as I have said, was signaled by the master of the Tarrant. towing the Argonaut, to go ahead. This action on the part of the master of the Tarrant, although it may have contributed to bring about the collision, cannot be imputed as a fault to the Argonaut. The Argonaut was in tow of the Tarrant and helpless in her hands, and is not responsible for the mistakes made by the master of the Tarrant, in either advising or directing the Ingram to proceed; and hence, as the Tarrant is not a party to this suit, I do not conceive that what took place between the masters of these tugs is at all material to the questions in this case, or to be imputed 8S a fault to the Argonaut. I, therefore. find that the collision was brought about solely by the fault of the Ingram, and there will be a decree dismissing the libel as against the Argonaut for want of equity, and awarding damages sustained by the collision -against the Ingram·
.ll:ND 01' VOLlJlrIB 87.