The Annie Lindsley
APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
On the night of May 7, 1869, a collision which occurred in Long Island Sound between the brig 'Annie Lindsley' and the schooner 'Sallie Smith' resulted in the sinking and total loss of the schooner and her cargo. The owners of the schooner brought suit against the brig to recover the damages sustained by them in consequence of the collision, and the District Court having rendered a decree in their favor, the claimant of the brig appealed to the Circuit Court, by which, on July 10, 1878, the decree was affirmed. The claimant then appealed to this court.
The Circuit Court made the following finding of facts:--
'1. About half-past eight o'clock on the evening of May 7, 1869, the brig 'Annie Lindsley' collided with and sunk the schooner 'Sallie Smith,' in Long Island Sound, between two and three miles north and east of Eaton's Neck. The sky was overcast and there was a little rain, but no mist or fog, though it was quite dark. The wind was fresh and east of south. Its precise direction is not satisfactorily shown. The water was not rough.
'2. The schooner, of 96 tons new measurement and 106 old, was bound from Connecticut River to New York, with a cargo of brown stone and scrap iron. When the brig was first discovered by those on board the schooner she (the schooner) was heading on her regular course through the Sound, which was W. by S., and had her port tacks aboard. Her regulation lights were set and burning brightly. Her mate was at the wheel, and a competent lookout at his post on deck forward of the windlass.
'3. The 'Annie Lindsley,' a brigantine of 220 tons British measurement, was bound east from New York to Hillsborough, New Brunswick, in ballast. She was steering by the wind and not by the compass, and was heading as near on her course through the Sound as the wind would permit. Her general direction was about E. N. E., which was a little to the northward of her regular course. Her master was on deck, the second mate at the wheel, and one man forward, properly stationed as a lookout. Her regulation lights were set, and she had her starboard tacks aboard.
'4. Both vessels were sailing under full canvas.
'5. When the brig was discovered from the schooner, the two vessels were approaching each other end on, or nearly end on, and on courses involving the risk of collision. The brig was close-hauled. The schooner had the wind a little free.
'6. A short time before the collision the lookout on the schooner discovered the brig about dead ahead. He saw no lights, but made out the vessel and her sails coming, as he judged, from an opposite direction. He at once reported to the man at the wheel, who put the wheel to port and bore off, until he opened the red light on the brig.
'7. The schooner was not discovered from the brig until after the brig was discovered from the schooner. The lookout was the first to see the schooner from the brig, and he called out 'Light right ahead.' Almost at the same moment a hail was heard from the schooner. The brig's wheel was then put to starboard, and she swung off one point. As soon as this movement could be discovered, another hail came from the schooner to luff, and the wheel was put to port, but before it could materially affect the course of the brig the two vessels came together, the brig striking the schooner on the port quarter, the jib-boom of the brig passing through the mainsail of the schooner. The schooner sank in a very few minutes with her cargo, and was a total loss.
'8. The starboarding of the brig was the direct cause of the collision.
'9 The value of the schooner at the time she was lost was five thousand dollars.' And, as conclusions of law from the findings of fact, the court declared that,--
1. The brig was in fault for putting her wheel to starboard, and this was the cause of the collision.
2. The libellants are entitled to a decree for the value of the schooner, cargo, and freight, as reported by the commissioner, with interest at six per cent from May 7, 1869, the date of the loss.
A decree was entered accordingly.
Upon the trial the claimant asked the court to make thirteen findings of fact, and to deduce therefrom certain conclusions of law.
The court declined to find the facts and conclusions of law as requested by claimant.
Mr. Robert D. Benedict for the appellant.
Mr. Wilhelmus Mynderse, contra.
MR. JUSTICE WOODS, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.
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