LARSEN V. THE MYRTLE.
this case, and I do not consider it necessary or proper to -consider ihe' other defenses relied upon. 'It may not be improper for the court here to remark that in view of the great value of the tonnage daily passing through these rivers and canals connecting our lakes, and in the absence of propet'legislation, tugs and parties in charge of rafts must be held to a high degree of care,-in the first place as to the proper construction of the rafts, so as to make them manageable and navigable, and in the second place as to propet care and diligence ill transporting them through the lakes and rivers,' with reference not only to time and character of the weather when they shall undertake to pass through, but also with to their proper handling when actually making the transit. I have submitted to Capts. Kellyand Nelson, the nautical assessors, who kindly S1it'with me in this case, my conclusions from the testimony as to the space in the channel between the starboard side of the raft and the American shore through which the Britannic and her tow were invited to pass, and also the dimensions and unmanageable character of the raft. and upon these facts, as established, have asked their opinion as to whether the channel open to the Britannic arid her tow was'reasonable and sufficient, and whether, under all the circumstances of the' case, the master of the Niagara managed his tug in a seaman-like man-' nero They have answered both questions in the negative, which adviee" fully meets with my concurrence. A decree may be prepared for the libelants in accordance with this opinion. and a reference to H. F. Carleton, as commissioner of the circuit court, to take testimony arid sess the damages. .
LARSEN et· al.. t7.
(Df.8trict Oourt,N. D. llUn0i8.
October 20, 1890.)
VESSELS ApPROA.CHD1G ON. !; About 1 o'clOOk ot a clear'morning, on Lake Miclfigao, the schooner'L.,ctOS6-· hauled on the starboard tack and headed S. W., sighted and was seen .by the schooner M., headed N. by W., with the wind free. The M. put her beI.iIJ port, and let go ber main 'sheet. and swung six or seven points to starboara. When the vesp.els were five orsil[ leol':ths apart, the L. starboarded and swung to port, , until she was across the bows of the M., which struck her forward of the, fore rilS'c ging. Beld that, whether the vessels were end on or on oonverging lines, the L. should not have starboarded, and the collision is chargeable; to her fault. SAME-INSUFPTCIENT LOOKOUT.
It was negligence to allow the wheelsman of the L. to go below after the II; was sighted, and to send her lookout to the wheel, leaving the captain, the,only C)ther man 00 deck, to perform the double duty of oftlcer of the deck and lookout. . ' ' .
In Admiralty. 8ckuyleJr k Kremer, fOf libelants. W. 'J1.Condon, for respondent.
BLODG:F:TT, J. Libelants, as owners of the Bchoonet Lookout;' bHng', this suit to recover ,damages sustained by' their schooner from a collision i
the scl;lOoner Myrtle, on the waters of Lake Michigan, on the 1st day of June,I888, charging that the collision came about solely from the negligeJ;lt.management of the Myrtle, while, by the answer, the owners of. the ,M,:yrtle charge that the collision occurred solely from the fault of thpse ,in charge of the Lookout, and they file a cross-libel to recover damages by the Myrtle from the collision. The proof in the case is all f,rom the decks of the two vessels, and is much less conflicting than usual in such cases. It is conceded that the collision occurred a few 1 o'clock in the morning of the day mentioned; that it was qn thew-,aters of Lake Michigan, six or eight miles from the west shore in the vicinity of Sheboygan, Wis.; that the night was clear, of w:Hh no fog or haze upon the waterj that the Lookout was heading about S., ! W:, ,with lit. six-mile breeze; that the course of the MYjl.'tle was about N! that each vessel sighted the other about 15 minutes befOTe they sq:uckj that spon after they sighted each other the wheel of the.MY,rHewas put hard. a-port, and the main sheet let go, and, she &wung qft'to starboard j .that when the vessels were five or six lengths ll-parttp,e wheel of the Lookout was, put to starboard, and she swung to portsufficiEllltly so that when the vessels came together she was across the bo,ws of the Myrtle, a1though the. Myrtle had swung six or seven aJ;ld tllattheM;yrtle struck ,the Lookout just ahead of fore rigging., ThElre. is some as to the direction of .the wind. 'l'rewitnesses from the Lookout saY it was W. S. W., while those from,th,e.Myrtlesayi,twas W., or W. by N. The witnesses from both vessels say they were sailing by the wind, and I conclude that neither was paying very close attention to their compass course, but were simply keeping a good full with the wind probably from about due west, as the Lookout was bound for Chicago and the Myrtle was bound from Chicago for a port inside of Green Bay, so that they were not particular to a point best use of the or two as their compass course,so.longas they made wind, and held the general courses required to take them to their respective destinations. ,The effort on the part of the respondent at the hearing was to show that the vessels were approaching each other upon not end on, or nearly end on j but I do converging or not deem the question whether they were sailing on converging lines, or a,pproaching each other end on, or nearly end on, very material, as the only difference in the duty of the two vessels was that, if approaching each oth.er end on, or nearly so, both veseels, under the sailing rules, should have put their wheels to port, and kept away to starboardj while, if approaching each other on converging lines, the vessel which had the wind free should have kept out of the way, and the vessel which was on'thestatb()ar<ltack should have kept her course. Now, there canbe no doubt 'fronl the testimony of the Lookout's witnesses that she was on the starboard tack, close-hauled, while the Myrtle had, the wind freej hence, if they were meeting end on, or nearly so, it was the'duty of th.ose in charge of the Lookout to have gone (:1ft' to the starboard, anll, :jf ap· proaching on converging lines, then to have kept her course. But she did neitperj" but,. on the contrary, after the Myrtle had put her wheel off to starboard,as it was her duty to do,
HARDY 11. THE ltAll!:IGH.
out's wheel was put to starboard, thereby throwing her to port, so that she was brought across the Myrtle's bows. I conclude from the proof that there was not to exceed a point's difference in the course of the "Vessels, and that they were approaching each other nearly end on; and that the plain duty of those in charge of the Lookout was to have ported their wheel, which they did not do, but, on the contrary, starboarded their wheel; and that the collision was brought about by their neglect of their duty and violation of the sailing rules in that regard. But I am also fully satisfied that, if the Lookout had held her course, instead of going to port, there would have been no collision, so that it seems to me of very little consequence whether the vessels were meeting on converging lines, or end on, as the Lookout was at fault in either dilemma. It also appears from the proof that, atter the light of the Myrtle had been seen on board the Lookout, her captain allowed his wheelsman to go below to get lunch, while the lookout was sent aft to take the wheel, and, as the full watch oonsisted of only the captain and two men, this left the captain to perform the double duty of officer of the deck and lookout, which, with another vessel approaching, and in close proximity, was in itself an act of negligence, as it left his vessel practically without a lookout. The Ottawa, 3 Wall. 268; The Hypodame, 6 Wall. 216. Had there been a vigilant and competent lookout on libelant's 'vessel, <lharged with no other duty, His probable that the captain would have been kept constantly advised' of the situation· of the Myrtle as the vessels neared each other, ahd the collision averted. While embarrassed by the double duty he had assumed, the captain of the Lookout committed the fatal error of going to port when he should have gone to starboard. The original libel is dismissed, and a decree must be entered on the crosslibel, finding the Lookout at fault, and decreeing damages in favor of cross-libelan ta.
HARDY 11. THE RALEIGH AND THE NIAGARA.
(Circuit Court, S. D. New York.
Tows AT ANCHOR-SIGNALS. . . The tug N., with a tow, anchored in mid-stream in the Hudson rive\' On account of fog, about 2 o'clock in the morning. The tow of canal-boats stretChed'llbaft the tug about 800 or 1,000 feet in the channel. The N. sounded the requiredfog-signal.s, but no others were sounded, though the E., another tug,which was the N.'s helper, was stationed about the middle of the tow. Shortly after coming to anchor, Ii steamer coming down the river ran into and bank one of the canllol"boats. HeW that the N., as principal. was in fault in not requiring fog-signals to be .sounded 011 the E., her helper, which would have enabled passing vessels to locate'the tow.
The steamer was likewis\l in fault, as she was stelloming from four to five knots. which ,was an excessive speed in the fog in question, through which vesilels could not be seen lit a greater distance than 50 feet. . . , The canal-boat which wassunk,being the outside boat of the first tier Ilf, .the flotilla, was likewise in fault for not sounding any signals,' onder the statute which prescribes that "canal-boats which shall be anchored or moored in * *. it the it rlyer fog-hqrn,;or I / ,. , '.' signal. n . . any,. ,it . . , . . < . '., . ,it it * . .. ... :,". " ,.,.l
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SAME-CANAL-BOAT AT ANCHOR-SIGNALS.