livered.ingood order, the vessel in the mean time having \Indergone no repairs whll.tever. It is impossible, I think, to attentiveJyperuse this testirriony caminl!; to the ctlU'olusion that this extraordinary and unprecedented the hides when delivered, whatever may havo been thEl cause, cannot be attributed to the fault of the carrier. The damage to"the skins waS caused by this breaking adrift of a cask of oil in thebetweenoodeeks. 'The testimony shows that the ship encountered weather violen'Cej thattbecask was securely lashed, and broke away dtirit1ga tempest,::J.o.an accident, it is said, of not infrequent occur· renee.' 1'Should haveth'OUght thM t\n accident of this character might be prevented by the exercise of proper care on the part of the carrier, but on tM proofs I .feel 'obliged to decide that in this case it must be attribtite'd ·toperilsof the sea. Libel dismissed.
THE GERTRUDE. ABELL ". THE NATHAN HALE AND THE GERTRUDE.
(District Court, S. D. New York. December 17,1891.)
PBR801UL 1l'IroRJEI '1'0 E1IlPLOn:-.DIVIDJNG F"'ULT.
It is impruaent and hazardous to divide a tow under way in a tide-way and in a high wind, to be picked up by other boats; and this beinp; donewitbout necessity. Oifthe·Batterl, and a hand having nis cut off by a coil of. rope which rendered whUe:malUng fast totbe drifting tow; h6M negligence in thetng for which it was answl!tlilJIe.'··lJut'tbeoourtbeing ottha opinion that the hand!s attention was to some extent given to the naval parade at tne Ericsson tunerlll; and t.hat the hand was partly in fault, allowed him $700 only.
In Admiralty. Edward S. Abell sued the tugs Nathao Hale and Gertrude to recover for personal injuries. Hyland de Zabriskie, for libelant. for clahpants. of,August 23, 1891,tp,e libelant, who BRow;N:,.J.:·jn was the then in tow along-side of the steam.tugGertrude,h.ad his foot ,cuJf off at the. ankle b:y.getting ca.ught .in a which was whiJe he was making fast two other his l!ide. The three ' barges were bound for the North mvef.:They had c()me dQw:n the East river 'with six or seven for .Amboy. tow of the Nathan Hale and the Ger.AtapQllt30'clockin the afterrlOpn, when they arrived off the Battery:. oralittlebeyond, ·the Gertr,uqe.was assigned to detach three barges, whilEl; tAe 1;6st of the tow weIlct.to .Amboy. 'fhe Gertrude accorq· . WQk PJl_llerport sidethe)ibelan.t's. barge Susquehanna
mE NATHAN HALE.'
she, was dropped from the tow, and then she ordered the other two barges, which were in the tier next astern, to cast off from the main tow, which was under way. The weight of evidence is clearly to the effect that the tUl1; and the Susquehanna did not proceed to take up the other until theybad dropped 200 or 200 feet astern of the main two tow. There was a strong north·west wind, and the tidewas ebb. When the two barges were some 25 01' 30 feet from the, Susquehanna, and nearly abreast of her, the captain of the latter was ordered ,by the master of the Gertrude to throw them a line to make fast. It is the customary duty oUhe captain of ·the barges to obey the orders 'of the tug-masters in heaving lines or in making fast their own or other boats in the necessary changes, when tho boats of the tow have different destinations. The two barges were light, and they were drifting backwards at the time when the'order was given. A line was thrown to them,anu by a loop atonceniade fast on the nearest barge. The captain of the Susquehanna then' put-the line through his stem chock, and got one turn about the bitt, which was about eight feet from the chock; and while attempting to make a second turn, as he testified, the line rendered as the barges weredrUting astern, and his foot got caught in the coil, which drew his foot up against the bitt, and severed the foot at the ankle. I find more than usual embarrassment upon the facts of the case, not only from the contradiction between the witnesses in regard to facts whichit should Seem ought to be equally well known to each, but from the different ver· sions of the accident by the libelant himself, whose NiginalliLel agrees with some of the defendants' witnesses in the important particular, if true, that the accident occurred while the line was allowed to render for the purpose of letting the barges drop astern after they had been previously made fast to the Susquehanna. The amended libel, however, asserts that the accident occurred in the first attempt to secure the two barges to the Susquehanna, and several of the defendants' witnesses tain this account. The probabilities of the case alford little because the whole conduct of the tug in relation to the two barges seems upon any theory to have been unreasonable and naturally improbable. Upon the whole, I think the weight of the testimony sustains the statements of the amended libel in this particular, and that the accident took place when the line was first thrown to the two barges, and they were 200 or 300 feet astern of the main tow. The weight of evidence is further clearly to the effect that the method pursued tn this case, namely, by casting off the two barges from the main tow in the ebb-tide and in a high north-west wind, before any lines had been made fast to them, as might have been done, was an unusual, improper, and dangerous mode of handling the boats; and that it imposed unnecessary risks and actual danger upon the men employed in the attempt to stop or "snub" the two barges while they were drifting astern of the Susquehanna in the high wind. The testimony of the captain of the Gertrude, in effect, confirms this; for he insists that he did make fast the lines to the two barges before he ordered them cast adrift, though some parts ofhis tes· timony: and the weight of evidence are to the contrary. The necessarily
hu,med:execntion of orders under such circuf.Ilstances, anq the difficulty of: the 'work, :tend naturally to such accidents as this. The tug is answerable for the unnecessary and unjustifiable method adopted by her captain ,in; pandling the boats, and she must therefore be held liable as contribnting to the accident. PM Frank and Willie, 45 Fed. Rep. 494. ThEifeis strong evidence, however" that the libelant was not giving his undivided ,attention to the lines, but was in part looking at the parade of the numerous vessels in the bay at- that time in attendance upon the funemlof Ericsson. The libelant' emphatically denies this. But as he has' .no one to confirm his own testimony on this point, 'and the story of the opposing witnesses is so natural under such, circumstances, I do not feel. warranted in awarding the libelant full damages on .his own testimony :alone, when thus contradicted, upon the theory that he was wholly free from fault. The libelant is not, however, for that reason, wholly cut :off from relief in a court of admiralty. The accident was severe; he is a cripple for life; and, though the evidence does :not justify a full decree, yet, upon the principles approved in the case of The Maz Morris. 137 U. S. 1, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 29,24 Fed. Rep. 860, I allow him the sum of &700jforwhich a decree may be entered, with costs.
THE ELSIE FAY. PIllLA.G 'II. THE ELSIE FAY.
, '(Distr£ct Cowrt. S. D. New York-January 6, 1899.)
iil which the accident happened not
for damages for personal injuries to,his kUI3e-pal)., and the mode satisfactorily explained, and amid numercontrlld1ctI6ns, 'MUl, that the claim was not e8tablisliedl)ya fair,preponderance of proof, dismissed without prejudice,
:TO' SIIRVANT....NEGLJGENCE-INSUFFICIIINaY· OJ' pitQ01l'.,
'",In: LibelbyJohn A. Pihlag against the schooner Elsie injuries. Fny to recover for Ale:xander for Wing, $4ov,dy Putnam, for claimants. BROWN, J. "The libelant was a seaman on the schooner Elsie Fa.y. He testified that"on the morning of the 27th of January, 1890, before light, as he was placing the pump handle in the small boat which was lashed ondeok athwartships a little aft of the mainmast, the lashing of the boat broke"because ofits unfitness and rottenness; ,and that the libelant, in catching,holdofthe tnain boom to save himself from being hurt by the boat, had his knee thrown by the boat up and against the boom, so as to injure permanently the knee-pan, Bnd disable hirh from further duties as a: , 1'he testimony is full of contradictions of a distress-