In our judgment,theaward ,to him of. $10,000 gives undue prominence to the part he took in rescuing the property. We are aware that this is a subjeet· upon. which no definite rule can be laid down, and that, in determining the amount of. compensation, each court must be guided largely byits own judgment, having in view as nearly as possible the theory upon which salvage is awarded, and the purpose of its allowance. Said Mr. Justice Bradleyin The .Suliote, 5 Fed. 99, 102:
"Salva'ge should be regarded 'In the light of compensation and reward, and not in the light of prize. The latter is more like a gift of fortune, conferred Without regard.to the loss or .sufferings of the owner, who is a public enemy, ,while salvage is the rewardgl;'llnted for saving the property of the unfortunate, and should not exceed what is necessary to insure the most prompt, energetic, and daring effol't. of those who have it in their power to furnish aid fJ,od succor." .. . .
'., In of all the facts, ips our judgment that the amount awardedthe libelant by district court i.8 e;x:cessive, and that a liberal allowance Wiould be $6,000. The de.cree is therefore reversed, at the cost O'f the appellee, and is remanded" for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
THE AMITY. :MARCUSSEN v. SAUNDERS et al.
(Circuit Court of APpeals, Fifth. Circuit. :May 21, 1895.)
SALVAGE COMPENSATION-:-REDUCTION ON ApPEAL.
. , A tug worth $30,000, with some risk: and damage to herself from Intense heat, drew away from a b.Uj.'lling wharf a bark which had already caught fire )n her lpasts and rigging.. By means of her powerful steam pump, the tug, In about six hours, succeeded in subduing the flames. After an absence of some four hours, the fire having broken out again, she returned to the. bark, and, by request, .lay by her all night, extinguishing the flames, which continued to break put afresh a strong wind. The estimates Of various witnesses as to the value of ,the bark after the fire ranged from $1,500 to $10,000, but she had been insured ;for $23,000. The district court placed her value at $10,000, and, the cargo being worth about $10,000, awarded $5,000 as salvage. Held that, wbile the valuation of the vessei appeared high, yet, under all the circumstances, the award could not be considered so excessive as to warrant the Interference of an appellate court.
Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Florida. This was a libel by E. E. Saunders, owner of the tug Echo, against the Norwegian bark Amity (P. R Marcussen, claimant), to recover services. The crew of the Echo intervened to assert their claim. The circuit court rendered a decree for libelants in the 911m r of$5,OOO, and the claimant appealed. In'the district court the following opinion was filed by SW District Judge: '
On October 27, 1894, the Norwegian bark Amity was lyIng at Muscogee wharf, in the harbof'of Pensacola, loaded with kainit and murIate of potash,
and was discharging the same. She was on the east side of the wharf, bow in, heading northward. At about. 11 o'clock a. m. on lliat day, the said wOOrt, warehouse thereon, and coal chutes attached thereto were aiscovered to be Oil .fire, ia 'close proximity to!:the said bark. The'steam ,tUg Echo, owned and operated by libelants, was at the time about three-quarters of mile on the bay, engaged with another vessel. As soon as the officers of the tug saw the fire and the danger to the Amity, they went immediately to her assistance, and arrived alongside in about seven minutes from the time lliey discovered the fire. By the assistance of the crew of the bark, they made fast to her, and towed her away from the wharf, to a place of safety in the hay, and, by the aid of a powerful steam pump, succeeded in extinguishing the fire on her. At the time a wind was blowing from the north. When the tug reached her, tlie bark was afire in her masts and rigging, and the intensl' heat from the rapidly burning wharf was scorching her side next to the wharf. No other tug or steam vessel able to move the bark was near or available at the time, and sl1e must have been very speedily destroyed, with her cargo. if the Echo had not acted promptly. The delay of a few minutes at this time must have rendered all efforts to save her fruitless. The testimony in reference to the value of the bark varied ,greatly, ranging all the way from $1,500 up to $10,000; but the agent of the Norwegian Insurance Company, Mr. Moller, who was present, defending the suit, testified that she was insured for about $23,000. It would seem, therefore, that $10,000 was not too high an estimate of her value at the time of the fire. 'L'he cargo saved was worth $9,825.97, making the total value' of property saved by the Echo about The fire, being in the masts and rigging of the Amity, rendered the task of extinguishing it difficult and hazardous to the Echo and her crew. The Echo sent her men wit4, her, hose up irlto the rigging of the Amity, to play npon the fire. The masts and spars were coated with paint and oil, and in some places covered with iron, inside of which the fire lodged and burned persistently. The crew of the Echo thus engaged were in constant danger from falling bolts, chains, and other pieces of rigging above them, and two or three of them narrowly escaped serious injury in this way. The tug Echo was worth at the time about $30,000, being large and powerful, and supplied 'with the latest improvements; and, though the danger to her was at no time great. yet she suffered somewhat .from the intense heat at the wharf, and frllmfalling fire and. bolts after. 'L'he prompt and successful mllnner which the bark was removed from the and the vigorous and successful method of extinguishing the fire on her, showed the Echo to be well equipped for such service, and 'to be manned by officers and' cI'ewskllled and fearless. The salvors wel,'e continuous.ly engaged in their· efforts· to"it'lxtinguish the fire from 11 o'clock a. m., on .the 27th,to 5p. m.; then went away for som,e three or four hours, but returned at the urgent 'request of 'the officers 'of the bark, and remained alongside of her until about 7 o'clock on the morning of the 28th, on tile fire as it would break out'afresh. : occasionally Salvors should not only be remunerated for risk of life and property, and for labor, privations, and hardships encountered, but the reward should be such as to furnish a sufficient incentive to similar exertions. See 21 AW. & Eng. Enc. Law, pp. 688, 689. "The allowance for salvage should be sufficiently liberal to make every one concerned eager to perform the service with promptness and and also to encourage the maintenance of steam vessels sufficiently powel!ful to make the assistance effective, but not so out of proportion to the service actulllly rendered as to cause vessels in situations in whIch it would be expedient that they should quickly accept the assistance 'to hesitate or to declIne to receive it. because of its ruinous cost. Ehrman v. The Swiftsure, 4 Fed. 463." After a deliberate review of the testimony, and a careful examination of the law, under the established doctrine so well expressed in the two paragraphs quoted, I am of the opinion that $5,000 will be a proper award In this case. By agreement of proctors for libelant and interveners, filed December 26, 1894, it is stipulated that the amount of salvage recovered shall be divided so as to give the libelant two-thirds and the interveners one-third of the amount; the latter one-third to be divided among the crew of the tug Echo according to their respective wages.
John C. Avery, for appellant. W.A. Bl,oll11tand A. C. Blount, Jr., for appellees. Before PARDEE and,McOORMIOK, Circst Judges, and BRUOE. DistrictJ PER CURIAM. While the award for salvage against the ship appears to be high in reference to some of the values sworn to by witnesses in the case, yet the evidence, taken as a whole, is not so conclusive On the side of the claimant that we can find therefrom that the court below erred in the valuation fixed as the basis of award. On that basis, considering the value of the salving vessel, the risk it encountered in rendering the salvage services, and the complete suc<:ess attending such services, the amount awarded can· not be characterized as excessive to such a degree as to warrant our interference. The decree appealed from is affirmed.
THE BELLE OF THE COAST.
FIGGANS v. AIKEN. (Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. May 28, 1895.)
LIBEL FOR PERSONAL INJURIES-EvIDENCE·
.Appeal from the District Oourt of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana. This was a'libel by Baptiste Figgans against the steamboat Belle of the Coast t9 recover damages sustained by libelant, who was em· ployed on board said boat, by reason of having his fingers crushed between the ends of two barrels while engaged in loading sugar at the landing at Pike's Peak, on 'the Mississippi river. The district court dismissed the libel, and the libelant has appealed. W. W. Handlin, for appellant. E. H. Farrar, B. F. Jonas, E. B. Kruttschnitt, apd Hewes T. Gurley, for appellee. . Before PARDEE and McCORMICK, Circuit Judges, and BRUCE, District Judge. PER CURIAM. Only facts are involved in this case. On the evidence, the district judge found against the libelant, and we find the same way. The decree appealed from is affirmed.