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The Eleanora.

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of sailing vessels, and they did not attempt to do

absolute authority did not extend beyond steam Fessels

, but they certainly had the authority to suggest rules for the consideration of sailing vessels, by which their conduct towards steamers should be regulated, and these rules, if generally acted upon by navigators, might in time become binding, as usages of the sea. The suggestions of the supervising inspectors were eminently practical. They were approved and promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury more than four years before this accident. They were immediately taken up and acted upon to some extent. Two years afterwards, extraordinary efforts were made by the Government to give them publicity and to secure their observance. It is possible that these efforts had not been put forth at the little port of Port Jefferson, where the Transit was registered, but it is quite certain that the suggestions were known and acted upon in almost every other port she entered from the time of their promulgation until the collision. Under these circumstances, if her officers had not learned of this new sound in fog language at sea, they must be considered as unfit for the positions they occupied, and the consequences of their ignorance must be visited on her. The Eleanora, when she heard the one blast of the fog horn almost ahead, acted as if the vessel from which the sound came was on the starboard tack, and put her wheel to port. This, if the signal had indicated the truth, would have been right, and quite likely would have avoided a collision. As the fact was, the movement was exactly wrong, since it brought the steamer on to the schooner. If the wheel had been put to starboard, and the steamer swung the other way, as would likely have been done if two blasts of the horn had been given instead of one only, a passage under the stern might have been made in safety.

The Transit too was, I think, short handed on deck at the time. While the number of her crew may have been sufficient, and two might have been enough for a watch on deck, under some circumstances, it is easy to see that a mate, who


The Eleanora.

was attending to the navigation of a vessel and letting go her sails while going about in a fog, was in no condition to act as lookout on the watch for the fog signals from steam vessels which might momentarily be expected; and that a man at the wheel, steering the vessel and looking after the sails aft, as they came about, would not be likely to give as much attention to the fog horn as the necessities of the case for the time being required. This is shown by the fact that, although the steamers were due, and approaching from the west, the horn was not sounded in that direction until after the captain came on deck, which was but just previous to the collision. Until then, the sound in the direction of the danger had been obstructed by the sails. A fog horn, at the best, can be heard only for a comparatively short distance, and is by no means reliable for signal purposes under all circumstances. Hence, it is important that those who are responsible for its use should be vigilant and attentive. As it is the way prescribed by law for giving information as to the position of a sailing vessel in a fog, when sight is of but little use, the duties of the man who has it in charge are as important as those of a lookout under other circumstances. Steamers are bound to keep out of the way of sailing vessels, but sailing vessels must, in the night and in a fog, by the use of the prescribed signals, furnish the steamer with the means of knowing how this may be done. This duty on the part of the sailing vessel is as obligatory as that of the steamer to keep away.

Both vessels being in fault, as between themselves, the damages must be apportioned. Castner and others, who sue the Eleanora alone, for the cargo, are entitled, under the rule in the case of The Atlas, (93 U. S., 302,) to a decree for the full amount of their loss; and, as the Transit, if she had been joined, would have been liable for one-half this loss, a credit may be allowed the Eleanora, on the decree in favor of the owners of the Transit, for a sum equal to one-half of the damages to the cargo. Although separate libels were filed by the owners of the vessel and the owners of the cargo, they constitute, in effect, but a single suit. They have been

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together and submitted on the same evidence. Hav

done if there had been but one libel, that is to say, divide the damages of the collision throughout between the two colliding vessels. A formal claim, to that effect, on the part of the Eleanora, is not necessary. It is rare that, in any case, a defending vessel makes a demand for a division of damages. A complete defence is generally insisted upon in the pleadings, and the apportionment is made by the Court, on the facts as they are finally developed at the hearing. It is unnecessary to decide what the rule in this particular would be if the Eleanora had not been subjected in the suit for the cargo, because here she has been, and that, too, upon the very testimony submitted in the suit between the two vessels. The fund belonging to the Transit, growing out of the collision, is in Court, and no injustice is done by using it to reimburse the Eleanora for what she has paid for the Transit, on account of the mutual fault of the two vessels

While the allowance made by the commissioner in his report for the value of the Transit seems large, I think it is sustained by the evidence. As to the other exceptions to the report in the case of Davis, it is sufficient to say they are overruled. The exceptions in the other case have not been seriously insisted upon here. A decree may be entered in favor of the libellants in the suit of Castner and others, for $1,11+ 17, and interest at six per cent. from October 25th, 1875, until the date of the decree. In the case of Davis and others, the damage to the vessel and freight amounted to $4,660 14; one-half of this is, $2,330 07; deduct one-half of the value of the cargo, $557 08, and the balance due to the Transit is $1,772 99; to which add interest at the rate of six per cent., from October 23d, 1875, to the date of the decree. In the case of Castner, a decree may be entered against the Eleanora for costs in both Courts. In the case of Davis, the libellants are entitled to costs in the District Court, but, as both parties appealed, the costs in this Court may be equally divided between them.

The Jesse Williamson, Jr. The Blanche Page and The James A. Burden.



Under Rule 4 of the statutory navigation Rules, (Rev. Slat., § 4,233,) requir.

ing “steam vessels, when towing other vessels," to "carry two bright white mast-head lights vertically," and requiring that each of those mast-head lights shall be of the same character and construction as the mast-head lights prescribed by Rule 3, a steam tug, which has no mast, and cannot carry a light at her mast-head, must carry two bright white lights vertically, of a character to be visible five miles away, on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, and so constructed as to show a uniform and nnbroken light ahead, and from ten

points on one side to ten points on the other, of the tug. Whether, if two lights of a power equal to what is required for mast-head lights

are suspended vertically on the flag-staff at the stern of a tug, in such a manner as to show a uniform and unbroken light ahead over an arc of twenty points of the compass, they would be the legal equivalent of two mast-bead

lights, quere. If circumstances are such as to make it proper for a steam tug to keep a tow

400 or 500 feet behind her, she should be specially careful not only to cotify approaching vessels that a tow is following, but, as near as may be, where

it is. Whether Rule IX of the board of supervising inspectors appointed under the

authority of the Act of February 28th, 1871, (16 U. S. Stat. at Large, 440, Rev. Stat. SS 4,405 and 4,412,) has the force of law in respect to the lights to be carried on canal boats and barges, while being towed by steam vessels,

quere. (Before WAITE, Ch. J., Southern District of New York, August 28th, 1879.)

THESE were cross libels filed in the District Court, in Admiralty, for a collision. John H. Starin, as owner of the barge James A. Burden, sued the schooner Jesse Williamson, Jr., for damages to the barge while being towed by the steam tug Blanche Page, through a collision between the barge and the schooner. William H. Sise and others, as owners of the schooner, sued the tug and the barge, for damages to the schooner by the same collision. The District Court dismissed the libel against the schooner, and gave a decree for the libellants in the suit against the tug and the barge. Starin, the owner of the tug as well as of the barge,

The Jesse Williamson, Jr. The Blanche Page and The James A. Burden.

appealed to this Court, in both suits. The decision of the District Court, (BLATCHFORD, J.,) was as follows: “On the evening of the 2d of November, 1875, after dark, the schooner Jesse Williamson, Jr., collided with the barge James A. Burden, which was in tow, on a hawser, of the steam tug Blanche Page. The bowsprit of the schooner entered the port side of the cabin in the after part of the deck of the barge, and upset a stove which had fire in it, and the barge took fire and burned up, with her cargo. The schooner, also, was injured.

, John H. Starin, the owner of the barge and of the tug, sues the schooner to recover for the loss of the barge, and of her cargo, which the barge was carrying on freight. The owners of the schooner sue the tug and the barge to recover for the damage done to the schooner. The collision took place a short distance to the westward of Throgg's Point, the schooner being bound to the eastward, and the tug and barge to the westward. The libel in the suit against the schooner sets forth, that the hawser by which the barge was towed was about 80 fathoms long; that, after the tug had passed around Throgg's Point, the schooner was discovered by those in charge of the barge, to the leeward of the tug, and showing only her red light; that, at that time, the barge was following after the tug almost in a straight line, but heading a little to the windward of her, the wind being from the northwest or thereabouts ; that the schooner passed the tug, on the port hand of the tug, at such a distance that she could easily have cleared the barge also, if a proper lookout had been kept, so as to see the barge, or if proper care had been taken in reference to the navigation of the schooner; that, as soon as the schooner was seen by the master of the barge to be approaching the barge in such a way as to render a collision probable, the helm of the barge was put hard-a-port, and the schooner was loudly hailed to keep away from the barge, which it was even then possible for her to do by porting her helm, but, without making any such change, she kept on, and ran into the barge; that the tug and the barge had all the regulation lights properly set and burning brightly; and that the collision was caused by


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