Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), June 13, 1895, p. 7

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MARITIME LAW. CHAPMAN DERRICK & WRECKING CO. v. PROVI- DENCE-WASHINGTON INSURANCE CO. & AL. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New Vork. SALVAGE SERVICE UNDERTAKEN BY ORDER OF IN- SURANCE COMPANY—PAYMENT OF SALVAGE TO OWNER OF VESSEL—DEFAULT. BY Him—LiaBiLiry or InsuR- ANCE COMPANY.—A vessel having been sunk, the libel- lant, a wrecking company, undertook to raise her, act- ing upon the orders of a representative of two of the four insurance companies interested which orders were afterwards ratified and approved by the other two. . The salvage operation was for the benefit of insurance companies, to whom it was of moment to ascertain the cause of the loss, and the extent of their liability upon their valued policies of $20,000. It also appeared that the libellant refused to do the work upon the credit of the vessel alone.. The vessel being raised, the insurance companies agreed to the libellant’s charge of $5,000, and, having settled with the owner of the vessel for $2,500, they paid over to the latter $7,500 upon his under- taking to pay libellant the $5,000 for the salvage serv- ice. This the owner did not*do, and subsequently died insolvent, whereupon libellant brought, this suit against the companies to recover the $5,000 for its services. Held, that they were legally liable for the amount. CLYDE S. S. CO. v. STEAMER ELDORADO AND STEAMTUG FLORENCE. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. COLLISION—STEAM VESSELS CROSSING—RULE OF THE STARBOARD Hanp.—The steamship Eldorado started out from the south side of Pier 25, North River, giving the long whistle required by law as she did so. At the time the tug Florence, witha tow, was coming down the stream, on the Eldorado’s starboard hand, but she did not hear the latter’s long whistle, her attention being given to another vessel which was crossing her bow. When the pilot house of the Eldorado emerged from be- hind the shed on the pier, her master saw the Florence, and gave two whistles, indicating that he intended to go ahead of her. The Florence did not hear this whistle, but herself gave one whistle to the Eldorado, which was not heard by the latter. The Eldorado whistled twice again, and the Florence replied with one whistle. Soon afterwards the Eldorado reversed her engine, but too late to avoid collision. Held, that the Eldorado was solely responsible, as under the rule she was bound to avoid the Florence and the latter was bound to keep her course. S Brown, J. THE OREGON. CoLLIsIon—Licuts, LooKkours aND SIGNALS—INTER- NATIONAL RULES—STIPULATION FOR RELEASE—INTER- VENING PETITIONS.—1. Where a vessel anchored in a river on the edge of the ship channel, well out of the usual track of ocean steamers plying up and down the river, and provided with an anchor watch and a proper statutory anchor light, is run into by a steamship, the presumption is that the latter is in fault, and the bur- den is upon her to exonerate herself from liability. 2. Where the circumstances require more than’ ordin- ary care, as in the case of a steamer running at a speed of 15 miles an hour, on a dark night, in a narrow chan- nel like that of the Columbia River, where there is great probability of meeting other vessels, a deck watch composed of the river pilot in command, stationed upon the bridge just above the pilot house, a man at the wheel, and a lookout upon the forecastle head, is insuffi- cient, and prudent navigation requires a lookout to be stationed on either bow. 3. While a licensed harbor or river pilot supersedes the master, for the time being, in the command and navigation of the ship, yet the master is not justified in leaving the pilot in sole charge of the vessel. He is still in command of her, as far as her navigation is con- cerned, and is bound to see that there is a sufficient watch on deck, and that the men are attentive to their duties; and he may advise with the pilot, and even dis- place him for manifest incompetence. 4. Deficiencies in the watch, consisting in failure to maintain the number of lookouts which prudence re- quires, and the failure of the master to supervise the men on dtty while the vessel was in charge of a pilot are to be regarded as evidences of negligence, and illus- trative of lax management in the navigation of the vessel, rather than as distinct faults in themselves, and would not suffice to condemn her in the absence of proof that they contributed to the collision. ; 5, A steamship, which ran into a vessel anchored in the Columbia River, well out of the usual track of steamers on a dark night, held in fault because her lookout was not such as prudence required under the circumstances, and because negligence was shown in keeping too close in shore, and either mistaking the anchor light for a beacon light on the shore, or failing fio see it at all, and steering directly upon the anchored vessel, without perceiving her or hearing the cries of the watchman on her deck until too late to avoid collision. 45 Fed. 62, affirmed. 6. The rule that, where a vessel which is clearly shown to have been guilty of a fault sufficient to ac- count for the collision seeks to impugn the manage- ment of the other vessel, there isa presumption in favor of the latter that can only be rebutted by clear proof THE MARINE RECORD. of contributing fault (The City of New York, 13 Sup. Ct. 211, 147 U. S, 85), is peculiarly applicable to the case of a vessel run into while anchored, because there is not only a presumption in her favor, but a presumption of fault on the part of the other vessel. 7. The statutory provision directing collectors and other chief officers of the customs to require all sailing vessels to be furnished with proper signal lights, and that such vessels shall show a lighted torch to steam vessels approaching at night (Rev. St. 4234), is strictly no part of the International Code, which was originally adopted in 1864, and applies only to American vessels. 8. The statute requiring all sailing vessels to be fur- nished with proper signal lights, and to show a lighted torch to steam vessels approaching at night (Rev. St.§ 4234), has no application to vessels at anchor, but was designed to supply a deficiency in the International Code with respect to vessels under way, by providing a means of warning a vessel coming up astern or ap- proaching from either side. 9. Quaere, whether the section, so far as it applies to the high seas, was not repealed by article 11 of the act of March, 1885, (23 Stat. 440), which requires that a ship. being overtaken, shall show from her stern a white light or flare-up light. 10. The rules of the International Code are to be re- garded as sufficient protection for a vessel under ordin- ary circumstances; and one vessel meeting another, whether of the same or a different nationality, has a right to assume that both are governed by the same laws, and may regulate her conduct accordingly. 11. Exceptions to the international rules, though pro- vided for by rule 24 (relating to “special circum- stances’’), should be admitted with great caution, and only when imperatively required by the particular cir- cumstances. ‘Therefore, under all ordinary circum- stances, a vessel discharges her full duty and obliga- tions to another by a faithful and literal observance of these rules. May 6, 1895. EE ee NEW TONNAGE. The Bureau of Navigation, Treasury Department, Washington, D. C., only issued official numbers to two lake-built craft during the week ending July 1, 1895. (Under steam 39 tons was registered, the Philip Gerst, of Buffalo, 23 tons, and the Rhoceen, of ‘Grand Haven, 16 tons, ae EEE ee LAUNCH OF THE RAPPAHANOCK. As we go to press the fine wooden steamer Rappa- hanock is being launched from the West Bay City ship- yards of Capt. James Davidson. Her general dimen: sions are 330 feet in length. 43 feet beam and 26 feet molded depth. A German society, The Arbeiter, held a convention this week, at Bay City, and voted to attend the launch in a body. Over 1,000 members will accord- ingly watch the successful launch of steamer. sano eo DREDGING ESTIMATES. The formation of an accurate estimate ofthe probable cost of dredging in any given locality presents a diffi- cult problem, and it is nearly equally disadvantageous to have the contract for the work either too high or too low. items should be considered, viz., total amount of work tojbe done; probable average dredging per day, depend- ing upon material, depth of cutting, range of tide, depth of water, and exposure of site; distance todump- ing-ground, or cost of depositing dredged materials on shore; distance of site of work from dredging plants, ana risks attending a passage thither; value of plant and percentage of depreciation for time required for the work; fire and marine insurance on plant; repairs to plant; operating expenses; contractor’s profit. EEE TOLEDO’S NEW BRIDGE. An important committee from Toledo paid a visit to Col. Jared A. Smith, of the United States Corps of Engi- neers, Cleveland, this week, relative to the bridge which the City of Toledo wishes to build across the Maumee River. The committee wishes to secure, if possible, some assurance that a modification of the proposed bridge, as approved by the government, would not be objectionable. The plans as approved show a distance of 38 feet between water and bridge. The contract to build the bridge, taken by the Smith Bridge Co., shows a clear space of but 18 feet. The proposition submitted to Col. Smith was to maintain the 38 feet head over the navigable portion of the stream, a width of 700 feet, then, by changing to a deck bridge, reducing the head to 18 feet. It is understood that the entire question is now in the hands of the Secretary of War, who will no doubt be advised by the Chief of Engineers. In forming a dredging estimate the following BUFFALO COAL TRADE. . Sat The following statistics of the coal trade of Buffalo were compiled by Mr. William Thurstone, secretary of | the Merchants’ Exchange: Coal movements at Buffalo to June 1st, 1895, with com- parisons of preceding years. Receipts and shipments by railroads not reported by request. Lake receipts for three years, none. Shipments by lake from opening of navigation to June 1st, 259,788 net tons, as compared with 341,774 net tons in 1894 and 541,479 net tons in 1893. The receipts by canal thus far this season, none; in | 1894, none; in 1893, 4,560 net tons. The shipments by canal thus far this season, 896 net tons, as compared with 461 net tons in 1894 and 629 net tons in 1893. Lake freights from opening of navigation to June Ist, 40 @ 30 @ 35 @ 40 cents to Chicago, 30 @ 35 cents to Mil- waukee, 15 cents to Lake Superior ports, 30 @ 35 cents to Green Bay, 25 cents to Toledo, 40 cents to Racine, 35 cents to Saginaw, and 20 @ 25 cents to Bay City. A year since freights: were 60 cents to Chicago, 55 cents to Mil- watkee and Green Bay, 30 cents to Duluth, Lake Supe- rior ports, Toledo and Detroit, 35 cents to Bay City, 60: cents to Racine, and 40 cents to Saginaw. The shipments by lake thus far this season shows a falling off of 81,956 net tons as compared with-1894 and 281,691 net tons as compared with 1893. The distribution of coal by lake thus far this year was as follows: 90,570 tons to Chicago, 89,525 tons to Mil- waukee, 11,650 tons to Duluth, 35,700 tons to Superior, 6,190 tons to Toledo, 3,000 tons by vessel to Tonawanda, destination unknown, 3,900 tons to Gladstone, 10,580 tons to Manitowoc, 800 tons to Sault Ste. Marie, 300 tons to Bay City, 1,350 tons to Saginaw, 375 tons to Racine, 1,760 tons to Green Bay, 300 tons to St. Clair, 3,721 tons to Lake Linden, 750 tons to Hancock, 632 tons to Owen Sound, 400 tons to Put-in-Bay, and 60 tons to Serpent River. _-- <a THE NORTHERNER CASE AGAIN. Judge Childs and a jury spent the greater part of Monday, at Buffalo, unraveling the complications in the action brought against the Western Assurance Co., of Canada, to recover $6,000 insurance on the steamer Northerner, which was burned at L’ Anse, Mich., De- cember 12, 1892. ‘The court decided to direct the verdict in favor of the defendant, subject to the opinion of the general term, to which the questions of law involved have beenreferred. The plaintiffs in the action are Ed- ward Clarkson, John Keiderhouse, Edward C. Maytham, Lambert W. Drake and Ann E. Maythem, as adminis- trix of the estate of the late Thomas Maytham. In the papers submitted to the court, it is said that Melville F. Brown and Charles H. Blakeslee bought the steamer from the plaintiffs about four yearsago for $50,000, and a mortgage was given to secure payment of the amount. The mortgagers agreed to keep the boat insured against loss, and in compliance with the agreement a policy of $6,000 was taken in the Western Assurance Co. When the steamer was destroyed proofs of loss were sttbmit- ted to the insurance company, but the amount of insur- ance has never been paid. On August 30 Brown and Blakeslee assigned their interests to Clarkson, who is liquidator of the Ontario Coal Co. _—_ EEE Oe DEATH OF TWO WELL-KNOWN LAKE MEN. The little steam yacht Gitana, measuring 5 tons, owned by George B. Sloan, Jr., manager of the Oswego Car Spring Works sailed from Oswego last Thursday morning for Alexandria Bay, and nothing has since been seen of her. The yacht and her three occupants were without doubt lost in the middle of Lake Ontario. Capt. John KE. Blackburn, the well-known lake shipmas- ter and ex-keeper of the Oswego life-saving station, was in command. Among his former command were the schooners West Side, J. f. Gilmoreand Dan Lyons. He was thoroughly acquainted with the entire chain of lakes and retired to become keeper of the Oswego life-saving station. This post he held for thirteen years. After this he kept a boat and bathing house. He was promi- nent in Masonic circles, and stood high in the esteem of all who knew him. He leaves a wife, two sons and one daughter, whose husband, George Richards is mate of the schooner Mabel Wilson. John A. Sprague, who was running the engine of the yacht, was born at Henderson Harbor in 1856, and early began active life as a sailor. He ran as engineer on a number of large lake boats. He leaves a wife and child. He was very well thought of in Oswego, N. Y.

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