from their cond1Jct, enter largely into the estimate of the reward. The and had every reason to think, that the property was derelict. In this case there was no danger to life incurred or averted. Ahd the salving vessel was at no time placed in peril. With great propriety she went at once to a vessel evidently in distress, and when she found her helpleRs, and apparently abandoned,lay by her all night, and the next day took .her in safety. The gross value of .cargo and vessel have been ascertained by sale,-cargo at $1,500; vessel aUl,950. Certain harbor expenses have been incurred, and the cargo has been disThe harbor expenses, pilotage, harbor towage, wharfage. etc' l be chal'ged to the vessel; layage and expenses attending discharge of cargq, to the cargo. Salvage award is fixed at $950, with costs, to between the gross value of the vessel and of the cargo.
: i'., : \ ·.
THE PEERLESS. 1 BVERS lIt
Oourt,S. D. New York. Ja.nuary 6, 1892.) .
CO;[MSION,...H.ELL GATE-EAST CHANNEL-DUTY TO ALTER COURSE IN' AC.CORDANCE WITnWHISTLE-RuLE 19. . . .
: .A·tug, With two sma.ll schooners in tow on a hawser, was going UP the east chan.nelat. Hell Gate with the first of the flood-tide, and was about in the middle of the '(hannel:. A steam-yacht, bound west, took the east channel to avoid meeting two sailing vessels, directly in front of her. On seeing the tug, the yacht gave one whistle and ported Iler helm. The tug immediately responded with one whistle. but did D,ot alter her wheel. As soon as the yacht saw that the. tug did Dot change hercoul'Se'she reversed, but too late to avoid the tug, which was sunk. Beld, that . the yap!lt bad the .right to take the east channel, and her navigation was without. fault; that the cause 01 the collision was the failure of the tJlg to alter ller course in accOrdance with the whistle, which there was nothing to prevent her from doing, IWod W-\,lIc(lllsequently solely the collision. .
'In Admiralty. Suit to recover damages caused by collision. dismissed ·. .Carpenter k Mosher, for libelants. Wing, ShQudy &: Putnam, for claimant.
'BROWN, J.At about 8 o'clock P. M. on June 26, 1891, the libelants' steim1-tugTh6mas Y. Boyd, while going up the easterly channel of Hell Go:tebetween tFlbod rock and the Astoria shore, in the first hour of the flood,.andhaving in tow, on It hawser of 40 fathoms; two small schooners, each' abo'l1t65 feet long, came in collision with the steam-yacht Peerless, b'tJllhd :west, at a. point a little below the line running from Hallet's Point light to ,the'northerly end of Flood rock. The stem of the yacht raIl inito:the,starboard"sideofthe tug. The force of the' blow', with the'
I1J:11lported'by Edward G.Benedict, Esq., of the New York bllil';' i
flood-tide, carried both together near the dredge at the upper end of Flood rock, and, as soon as the yacht was disentangled from the tug, the latter sank, and became 11 total loss. This libel was filed to recover damages, alleging negligence of the yacht in not taking one of the westerly channels,. viz., either the middle or the main ship channel, and in not keeping out of the way of the tug. :The claimant contends that the accident arose wholly from the negligence of the tug in not porting her wheel as she might and ought to have done after the exchange of one whistle between the two steamers. The most important fact in dispute between the two parties is the position .of the tug at the time of collision. The clear weight of evidence is that the tug was then in mid-channel, with the schooners directly astern of her; that is to say, aQout 300 feet to the westward of the Astoria shore, and not within 100 or 150 feet of the Astoria shore, as several of the libelants' witnesses allege. This appears, not only from the greater number of witnesses who testi£iedto this fact, including.some called .bythedefendant who were in the best position for seeing the true place of the tug in the channel, but from other circumstances,. which confirm the weight of the direct evidence; for the tllg after collision was cal'riedby the force of the blow with the yacht closeto the dredge on the western of the channel, and this could not have happened if the lision had been close to the Astoria shore and the light. With the.Peerless backing and the flood-tide,the tug couldnQt have been carried so far to thewestwardj and she must also have been: swept further to the northeastward. The schooners, moreover, after the collision, the hawsers and passed being cut or broken,continued on in about 100. or 150 feet to the eastward of the boats in collision. The Feerless, at the time of the exchange of one whistle, was upon a course about west, which course she had taken from about 300 feet. off Negro point, and which made her cross from Negro point to Hallet's point two points to, port of the channel line. The exehauge of 011e whistle was made when the Peerless had nearly reached the light on Hallet's point, and the tug opened up below it. ,The boats must then have been at least 1,000 feet apart, and probably more. The Peerless was running at half speed, about -7 knots through the water or 5 knots by the tug, about 4 knots by land or 2 knots through the water.. The signal of one whistle which the yacht gave to the tug, and ·which the tug immediately answered with one, imported that the boats should pass port to port, and that the tug would keep to the righi. The tug did not do so" but kept a straight course, .and without slacking speed. until collision. The that the. tug was not turning to yacht ported hard, and, as soon as starboard, reversed, but not in time to avoid collision. Under her port wheel she changed belore collision about two points to starboard, s.o as to head nearly directly across towards the dredge at the north .end .of Flood rock. . I find that there was nothing to prevent the tug from porting her wheel, and going to the right, as her signal agreed she would do. Despite the claimant's testimony this is evident, not merely from the evidence
of \he lib.,ll1nts' experts,' but fact thllt the twb sChooners lashed ,together behind passed on without difficulty, notwithstanding the fact of the collision. It is self-evident· thnt Qtug like this, which is handled easily, could have gone to the right, as her signal imported she would do; witbperfect ease, and so saved collision with herself. Nothing prevebted the slacking of her 'hawser for a moment, if that was necessary fOfacquick turn; and the schooners would not have been thereby in the slip;htest dtlgree endangered, as theilisubsequent passage proved. As the tug could have pursued this cou:t:se without difficulty, she was legally bound, to do 80, both uilder the agreement made by the exchange of one whistle and by the ruiei()f the starboard hand, (rule 19.) Her failure to do this brought on the collision, fOl' :which the tug is therefore to blame. . I find no, Jault proved in the yacht. She was meeting two schooners under sail that were beating to the eastward through the gate, and were right'infY()nt of her inl;lifferent positions. The courRe adopted by the yacht under such circumstances, viz., to go through the easterly channel, was.deemed by berimaster to l>ethe most prudent course to adopt toavoid.'the two schooners, and, so far. as I can perceive, was a proper one. If the tug, when below at Astoria, gnve any long whistle, as some of hElr witnesses testified', it was not; heard by anybody. on the yacht or other near. The·yacht, therefore, had a right to suppose that the easterlychannelwu.claar. But even had the tug's long whistle been heard, if she gave any, her position in the easterly channel was not such 88' to forbid the yacht to take that channel when two schooners impeded the course towards the middle and northchannelsj for, upon the westerly course that the yacht was the evidence shows that there was·no difficulty in her going to the westerly side of the easterly channel,and that when the exchange of one whistle was made there would' have been no difficulty in passing the tug, had the tug observed her duty. The yacht had Q.right toassurrie that the tug would go to the right,as her whistle and the rule'required. As soon as the whistles 'Were e:lcchangeo, the yacht did all that was required of. her in porting her wheel; for there wllS time and space eno,ugh for the tug to go to the:right. fam the. yacht bllckedl1$ Soon as she could perceive tltetug was not doing her duty· 8lie was under no obligation to stop and back as soon as the exchllnge ofon.e whistle waamade, beCause that exchange of ,whistles was it suitable rind sufficient provision Jorllvoidingthe collision, had'thetugperJormed her part. That exchange whistles for the time .heing, therelore, determined the risk of collision,.aa the yacht had a right to and"Qs soon as risk of 'collisionr'cOuld reasona;bl)"be apprehended aneW,' the yacht reversed. This was all that was required of her 'by the rules, or by common sense and Thecollisi01l being, therefore, the fault of the tug, the libel blust be dismissedjwith costs.· '.
, tHE J. E. TRUDEAU.
(DiStrict Oourt, B. D.
January 11, 1892.)
CoLLISION-MISSISSIPPI BTE,6.M-BoAT-VES8EL AT LANDING,
The steam-boat Trudeau','dliscending the Mississippi, attempted to land at the foot of Canal street, New Orleans, but caught an obstruction in her rudder, became unmanageable, and ran into" tug-boat lying at a wharf. Opposite and above this landing is a strong eddy, well known to boatmen, and the ullual and prudent courae is ,for'descending boats to keep outside of it nntil pastthelandinj1;, and then to turn and approach it from bel\>}\'. The Trudeau, however, kept in the eddY,and at"tempted to turn opposite the point of landing. Beld, that the collision Wall not an inevitable accident, but was due to the prior fault of the Trudeau.
In Admiralty. Libel by Thomas Pickles, as Qwner of the Josiejagainst the steam-boat J. E. for damages for a, Decree for libelant. Jamt8McConneU and, Ji}ank N.pt#J,er, for libelant. : Joa. P., H(JT"fuYr and,' Guy ,M. HO'I'IfI(W',. for claim!l-nts.'
BILLIl¢GS, J. This i&a libel by the owners of the tug-boat Josie against the steam-boatJ.E,Trudeau for damages for a collision. "The libel sets out that on January 31, 1890, the Josie, which was ,Wllld 'as, a night ferry"boat plying between IS'e,w, Orleans and: Algiers, was !poored at her wharf in this city at the foot of Canal street, when she was run the want of skill and negligelfce into and sunk, and totally, lost, of those who were in of the Trudeau. The answer admits the (}ollision l but avers it was the respJtof an accident; that "a log or Bome obstruction, Qf ,that, character was in the rudder of the Trudeau, and so blocked it that it became unmanageable, and th'e wheel oould,n()tbe movedolle way or tpeother;" it is in substance averred, in ,spite Qr. aU ;tbe,qfl'orts qj, the officers: o(theTruqeau, gyided by all the'requisite skill, the collision took place. It is to be observed that itis conceded by the pleadings that the Josie, which was moored at her wharf, was guilty of fault; that the Trudeau rim into her; and the only question presented is whether the Trudeau was so situated that what damage she did should be deemed an inevitable accident. It is ,said she became nnmanageable by reason of a log or some similar obstruction getting afoul of her helm. I think this general fact is estab.lished, that for some reason, for a certain length of time, and just before the collision, the helm was unmovable; and it may be that, if no anterior facts existed which cast blame upon the claimants' steamer, this impossibility of controlling the movements of the vessel by the helm might have brought her owners within that class of persons whose property .does damage to that of others through inevitable accident,-vis major,and that thus they would be exonerated from liability. This presents -the most important question of fact in the case, which I have tried to