J'EDERAL' REPORTER, ·vol.
et aZ.. v; THE
I(DiBtrict Oourt, S. D. New York.
April 17. 1889.)
Where. a is pursuiJ;lg ber usual course, at her usual speed, by night, in ordinary weather, and runs into a vessel lying at anchor without an anchor light, the steam-boat is not liable, if she reversed as soon as the other was visible. ,
Where competent officers are in their places, attentive to their duties, and navigating their vessel in accordance with what cl1nbe seen, their testimony that a li,ght was npt perceived, which must have been seen if properly burning, ia to' superior credit, if not outweighed by other circumstances.
In Admiralty. Libel fo!' damages by collision. Chrler,ROl1ins & Ledyard, for libelants. Macjarland,poardman &: Platt, for claimants. . . :
'BRawN, J. 'On: the night of October 18, 1887, at a little after midnight, while the steam ferry-boat Westfield, running between the Bat;:. tery and on her way from St. George's to Staplet.on, to lie up for the night, and her usual course, she came in colwith the libelant's pilot-boa't, the Lillie, Some 200 or 300 yards oft'the COrinthilil1 Yacht'CIubdock,at Tompkinsville, a,nd a little to the southw'ard oUt, dping considerable damage to the pilot-boat,. for which the above libel was filed. The preponderance of proof shows that at the time the Westfield came along there was'lrio light burning upon the Lillie. Ther/3 was a fishing amack nO tO,100 feet to the eastw'ard of the Lillie; others nearer and still others some W the southward or south-west of her. The night was dark, and somewhat drizzly. There }Vas a on qeck, at the front ,of the covered passage. The master, at tbe was watchful and attentive to his duty, engaged wh()lly in, what was ahead of him. No l,ight was seen by or by the, quartennnster at the wheel; and. the pilot-boat was gnlydiscoverC(ld tl'!lhortdistancebefore she was reached, being seen and reported by the, lookout at th,e same time, or nearly at the same time, thllt she was',seepuy the:master,'and quartermaster. The bells were immediately to. stop and the collisiqn took place after. the enginewal3 reversed, and before .the :completionof ,a single revolution. "Where. are in their places,atteptive t() their duties, and navigati.ng .thi;lir to what be seen, their testimony that'no seen, which,Q'Ugbt to have be,en seen and must have been seen if properly burning,'is entitled to superior credit, if their evidence is not outweighed by other circumstances. The Narragansett, 20 Blatchf. 87, 11 Fed. Rep. 918; The Royal Arch, 22 Fed. Rep. 457;
by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.
'l'h;elsa(J4 Bell" 9 ;Fed.Rep.· 4.1abama, Fed·.Rep, $47, 'J!he .Joha/fl/f1.e AU9¥8te, 21 fed. Rep. 134, 140j ')!he Fe4. · Rep. 791 t Henry 29 Fed. 601. Though tlle p)l,tce o,f anchorage was not an unusual one, it was not, in the case. of 8upra, a place where steamers were unaccustomed to come. On th,econtrary, it was' the daily uSu;+1 course of the Westfield. .The necessity for , the Lillietosho"Y a light was therefore imperative. This is not denied. The evidence indicates that a lantern had been previously hung,up,but , the light must have gone out before the Westfield came along,.' I cann9t impute any blame to the Westfield for taking her usuirl'cotii'Se to Stapleton, or in not anticipating the presence of the pilot-boat when no light · Nor is there sufficient evidence to satisfy me that the Lillie, , without a light, could have been seen from the Westfield any sooner she was seen; or that the Westfield could have taken any more etl'ebtive means to avoid her after seeing her. The Westfield had a right to pur, sue her usual course to her landing; and I do not see in this ca:se' any drcumstant:es that required her, as a matter of prudent navigation;'t.o · abate ber ordinary somewhat reduced speed, when going to lie up; :sIm. ply upon the risk that there might be in herpath'a vessel that, invib· latiQn of the rules, 'exhibited no anchor light. In' her usual course she had a right to go at her usual reduced speed.l:n not maintaining l a light the risk rested wholly upon the Lillie, and she must aooordingly bear the blame. InthecasesQf Steam-Ship Co.v. OlJ.ldlffWood, 19JHow. 241" and The Drew, 35 Fed .. Rep'. 789,thesteamer was held liable for · being much out of her proper and usual track. ' In The IsaMBell, 9 Fed. ,Rep. 842, where the steamer wa.s not out of her usual course, she was ,acquitted,:and that judgment was affirmed in, thil!l circuit. This case is substantially like the latter. The libeUs dismissed, with costs.
C. & A.
(Oif'ouu Court. 8. D. New.
,COLLISION-BETWEEN STEAHERAND FERRy-BOAT.
The steamer C.. while coming down the North river and appro8ching.tier wharf in New city,.wauun into by the fel'ry·boat B.. the course' of the C·.wsslai(l dil'ect for her berth, Which tpok her Mr088 th-e bowBof the 'B.; but thin the latter did 'notr6versenrttil'within' 200 feet of the place of collision; and there was evidence showing that the intention of the C. to keep on her course was manifeRted by disregarding the repeated signals of the B. Held, that the B. was in fault, although she had the right of way.
In Admiralty. Fed. Rep. 660.
Libel for damages on appeal from district comt, 34