United States Circuit Courts of Appeals Reports, Том 138
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: say that, just as the collision was about to take place, Pinckney, who had control of the helm of the Maggie, left his post and ran forward, trying to avert the blow. Pinckney was the sailing master of the Maggie. He is a seaman of long experience. No seaman in his senses would have deserted the helm if his vessel was tacking and in full motion, sailing close to the wind. Under such circumstances his whole attention would be directed to holding her up to me wind, and a neglect of this would have been disastrous. Nor would any seaman, however short his experience, attempt to ward off the collision of two vessels if they were approaching at speed. Such an attempt would have been as futile in result as it would be dangerous to himself. Pinckney says that he tried to shove her off. His action is entirely consistent with the undisputed fact that the impact was very light, this proving that the two vessels were approaching each other slowly. We are of the opinion that, whether we take the testimony of the libelant or of the respondent, the collision could not have been the result of inevitable accident. Inevitable accident, says the court in The Mabey, 14 Wall. 204, 20 L. Ed. 881, must be understood to mean a collision which occurs when both parties have endeavored by every means in their power, with due care, caution, and a proper display of nautical skill, to prevent the occurrence of the accident, and when the proof shows that it occurred in spite of everything nautical skill, care, and precaution could do to keep the vessels from coming together. In The Morning Light, 2 Wrall. 550, 17 L. Ed. 862, the court says: When the collision occurs exclusively from natural causes, and without any fault or negligence of either, the rule of law is that the loss must rest where it fell. ...
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