(District (Jourt, E. D. Pennsylvania. February 21, 1881.)
1. COLLISION-GROUNDING OF SHIP IN Tow OF TUG-LIABILITY OF TuG
FOR ACCIDENT CAUSED BY ITS NEGLIGENCE-DUTY TO ANCHOR IF UNABLE TO PROCEED SAFELY.
A tug, with a ship in tow, was approaching a sharp curve in a river with an ebb tide sweeping across from the east. Seeing another tow ahead going in the same directiol). the tug slackened her pace. The ship shortly afterwards grounded on the western shore. Held, that as it appeared from the evidence that the accident was caused by the Islow pace of the tug, and her failure to keep to the eastern side of the channel, she was liable for the damage. Held, further, that if the vessels ahead could not have been passed at that point, and it was necessary to slow down to a pace not sufficient to afford proper steerage way to the ship, the master of the tug should have considered the propriety of dropping anchor.
Libel by the master of the ship Josephine against the tug Farnsworth, to recover damages caused by the grounding of the ship while being towed by the tug. The accident occurred June 25, 1880, while 'the ship was being towed by the tug up the Schuylkill river. The vessels were approaching a curve in the river, and just ahead was a tow of canal·boats bound in the same direction. The tug slackened her pace and short· ened the hawser with which the ship was being towed, and shortly afterwards the ship grounded. The other facts are sufficiently stated in the opinion. The theory of libellant was that the accident was caused by the tug keeping too near to the western shore, and attempting to round the curve with the ship in tow on a slack hawser. The theory of respond. ents was that the accident occurred through the failure of the ship to obey the signals of the tug and to steer in her wake. Alfred Driver and J. Warren Coulston, for libellant. H. C. Brown and Edward F. Pugh, for respondents. BUTLER, D. J. It is not difficult to ascertain the cause of grounding. Approaching a sharp curve in the river, where the ebb tide sweeps across from the east, the tug ran up the western side of the channel a.t a pace scarcely suffiby Frank P. Prichard, Esq., of the Philadelphia bar.
cient to tighten the hawser, or afford "steerage way" to the ship, and the current consequently swept her ashore. The allegation that the ship was mismanaged by those on board, is not sustained by the proofs. The witnesses having the best opportunity of knowing, say the crew of the ship did all that could be done to keep her afloat. The very shori distance between the tug and the ship, when the latter grounded, shows conclusively, that the former was well over to the western side of the channel, (her officers testify that she was west of the center,) while the condition of the tide made it important to keep to the eastern side. The failure in this respect, and the very slow pace at which the tug moved, produced the disastor. If vessels were ahead, which could not be passed at that point, and should not be overtaken, as is alleged, and the pace was not sufficiE:nt to afford proper steerage way to the ship, and enable her to keep in the wake of the tug, the roaster of the latter should have considered the propriety of dropping anchor, and waiting till the course was clear. A decree must therefore be entered for the libellant aocordingly.
(Circuit Court, D. Ma8saMu8eti,. January 18, 188L
TuG AND TOW-WHEN TUGS ARB JOINTLY LIABLE-USAGE OJ/' POR'l'.
Two tugs, belonging to different owners, engaged to tow a vessel under a general order for towage given by the I)laster through other persons, while in command of the master of the tug first engaged, in accordance with the usage of the port, negligently landed the vessel while in tow upon a well-known shoal. Held, that both tugs were liable for the damages sustained by the vesseI.-[ED.
In Admiralty. Damage. On the morning of the twenty-fourth of February, 1879, the Italian barkentine Arturo was lying at the pier of the Grand Junction wharf, in East Boston, known as No.5, or the Elevator pier, where she had received her cargo, and was