THE ROBERT ROBINSON.
tance; each was showing to the other her red light, and the officers of the Skeel' were the first to give proper signals to indicate that she would go under the Robinson's stern. It seems scarcely credible, therefore, that they should not have noticed the two staff lights of the Robinson, if at that time two had been showing; nor, if they had noticed two, that they should a few moments afterwards have charged the master of the Skeel' with having but one. Their testimony is confirmed by the man on the Jones, who came on deck when the scow was only 100 feet away, and is quite positive that there was but a single pole light then burning. A rigid crossexamination seems to me to have been well supported by him, and I do not think it is shown that he was not in a position to see the tug and her staff lights before collision. It is, however, possible in his case that the time of noticing the pole light may have been transposed. I do not attach very much weight to the testimony of several of the witnesses for the Robinson, who think they saw the two pole lights shortly before collision. They had no duty in regard to it; and there was nothing to call their attention to it. The pilot and mate of the Skeel', on the other hand, were navigating in reference to the Robinson, as their original whistle to her shows, and designed to go under her stern; and from the time she was first seen by them until they passed from 200 to 400 feet abreast of her, there was abundant opportunity to see the lights she carried; and as the Skeel' was crossing the Robinson's course under her stern, it seems to be, as above stated, incredible that they should not have paid sufficient attention to see whether she indicated a tow or not, or should not have seen both the staff lights, if they were properly burning. Upon these circumstances and the testimony, therefore, it seems to me that the weight of probability is in favor of the Skeel'. In one other regard I think the Robinson ought, also, to be held in fault; namely, for the unusual length of hawser which she was using for the scow in that situation. ,,"'he evidence leaves no doubt that it was customary, in towing light scows up the bay, to shorten the hawser to about 100 feet off Red Hook, or in that neighborhood. This was expected by the men on board the Robinson that night; and they were in attendance for that purpose, as appears from their testimony; but it was not shortened. The Skeel' crossed the Robinson's course about 400 feet astern of her, and this was twice the distance of an ordinary scow-tow upon a hawser in that region. The scow was not seen by the Skeel' until within one or two hundred ff'0t of her, when orders to reverse were immediately given, but too late. There is no doubt that the Skeel' was misled. or misunderstood the situation. An unusual length of hawser contribute to mislead her, even if there had been two staff lights, and these lights had been seen. The unusually long hawser might account for the collision, even if the story of the Skeel' in regard to the lights was held to be a fabrication; that is to say, if both lights had been burning, and had been seen by the pilot and mate of the Skeel', since they might have supposed that they went a sufficient distance asten 10 avoid any stern tow of the Robinson. But this seems hardly credible
upon such night.. iFor. the Skeel' p::lSsed the Robinson near enough to se¢;.whether the tow, which two pole lights would or Wits astern; and.it. being plain have indicated, Wl;l.s· enough that no ·tow was alongsiqe, ..it must have been looked for it does not ,astern. So that if two lights had 1;leen visible and seem credible that the collision should have taken place. I think the Robinson ·lIlust, therefore,1;le h.eld in fault poth for failure to proper. and fo;rthe unusual length of hawser. in ob· The Skeel' must, 31so, be held in fault for lack of serving the scow. She was not only a large object some 12 or 15 feet out of. water, easily seen on such a. moonlight night, .even without lights, ip amplt!. thneto avoid her; but the evidence also leaves no .P;O\'l,sible dOUbt had and visible, to 'YJUch no attention Wl.j.s given until the Skeel' had approached within luO or 200 feet of her. No doubt the fact that the scow was moving ,tPIrQugh the water, di!>tinguishes the case sQmewhat fro.m that of mnninginto a similal' boat at anchor; but the failure to observe her altogether until she was so near, deprives the Skeel' of any defense o.n that ground, since it wholly faHs to meet her negligence in observatiop, with which 1 must hold her chargeable.. The nonobservance .of the. scow evidently contributed. to the collision; and each must, therefore, contribute to the loss. No fault is proved against the scow. 'rhe libelants .are each, therefore, entitled to.a decree against the Robinson and the Skeel'; and the libel as respects the scow must be dismissed. Decrees accordingly.
THE LD1E ROCK.' et a1. v. THE LIME ROCK. (District Court, S. D. New York. :March 30, 1893.)
,COLLISION WITH BULKHEAD :MOVING VESSEL ];'ROM BERTH NECESSITY FOR
The steamboat E. was moored alongside a bulkhead in Gowauus creek, and outside of and moored to her was libelants' canal boat A. TIl steam ' lighter L, It., desirous of reaching her berth, which the E. was occupying, put her bow against the 1;tern of the E., and her forward; libelants' canal boat accompanying her. The forward Illotion, however, parted the canal boat's stern line to the E., and when th') latter was checked the canal boat ran ahead, and into the bulkhead, receiving injuries from which she sank. The claimants denied that the Canal boat struck the dock at all, and. that the accident must have been caused by a floating log. Held, that the weight of evidence sustained the libelants' contention, and that, while the L. R. had the right to move the canal boat in order to reach her berth, she was bound to do so in a way to avoid accident, and was liable for her failure to use reasonable precautions.
In Admiralty. Libel for danlage to canal boat by pushing her :against a bulkhead. Decree for libelants. Hyland & Zabriskie, for libelants. Benedict & Benedict, for claimants.
'Reported by E. G. Benedict, Esq., of the New Yorl, bar.