Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

AMERICAN EXPORT LINES v. DREDGE ADMIRAL

April 22, 1966

AMERICAN EXPORT LINES, INC., as owner of the S.S. EXEMPLAR, Libelant,
v.
DREDGE ADMIRAL, her engines, etc., the BARGE A-244 and the Arundel Corporation, Respondent. The ARUNDEL CORPORATION, as owner of the dredge Admiral and the barge A-244, Cross-Libelant, v. The S.S. EXEMPLAR, her engines, etc., and American Export Lines, Inc., Cross-Respondent


Edelstein, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

EDELSTEIN, District Judge.

FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. This is an action by American Export Lines, Inc., owner of the S.S. EXEMPLAR, against the Arundel Corporation, owner of the dredge ADMIRAL and the barge A-244, for damage to the S.S. EXEMPLAR arising out of the collision between the EXEMPLAR and the barge A-244, which took place in the Hog Island Reach Channel of the Cooper River in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, on the morning of February 16, 1961. The Arundel Corporation instituted a cross suit against the S.S. EXEMPLAR and the American Export Lines arising out of the same collision. The two suits were subsequently consolidated for the purpose of trial.

 2. American Export Lines, Inc., a New York corporation, was at the time of the collision the owner of the S.S. EXEMPLAR. The Arundel Corporation, a Maryland corporation, was at the time of the collision the owner of the dredge ADMIRAL and the barge A-244.

 3. The EXEMPLAR, a dry cargo vessel, is 473 feet 1 inch long, 66 feet 5 inches wide, and at all relevant times was laden to a draft of 10 feet 8 inches forward and 19 feet aft. She is powered by two steam turbines geared to a single propeller shaft. The dredge ADMIRAL is a non-self-propelled suction type dredge, 150 feet in length, 40 feet wide, 11 feet deep and was built in 1911.

 4. During the early morning hours of February 16, 1961, the dredge ADMIRAL was dredging pursuant to contract with the United States Army Corps of Engineers in the Hog Island Reach Channel of the Cooper River, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The dredge, which was facing downstream in a southerly direction, was moored approximately 1000 feet south of the Cooper River (Memorial) Bridge in the middle of the center cut of three dredging cuts, each 200 feet wide. The total width of the channel was approximately 600 feet. A pontoon pipeline, through which dredged material was sucked up and carried to the discharge or spoil area, extended 200 feet aft from the stern of the dredge ADMIRAL and then in an easterly direction to the discharge or spoil area on Hog Island, thereby constricting the easterly half of the channel.

 5. The ADMIRAL had been dredging in the same vicinity for approximately one month. On the evening of February 15, 1961, the dredge captain, A. R. Grizzard, by radio-telephone, advised the pilot boat at the entrance to Charleston Harbor as to the exact location of his dredge.

 6. Moored along the starboard or westward side of the dredge ADMIRAL, and separated from the dredge by a fender of approximately 14 inches, was the water barge A-244 of 127 tons, 92 feet in length, 26 feet in width, and 6 feet in depth, which was built in 1939. At all relevant times on the morning of February 16, 1961, the dredge ADMIRAL carried all required navigation lights but the water barge A-244 was not lighted as required by the Pilot Rules for Inland Waters, § 80.20(b). The dredge ADMIRAL at all relevant times had an anchor out to starboard, which was marked by an unlighted buoy afloat approximately 200 feet west of the dredge.

 7. At 0424 hours on February 16, 1961, the S.S. EXEMPLAR arrived off the Charleston pilot's station to obtain the services of a pilot for the northbound trip in Charleston Harbor to the Columbus Street Terminal. At 0448 hours, on the morning of February 16, 1961, Robert Burdell, a federally licensed pilot, took the "con" while the master of the S.S. EXEMPLAR, Neil W. Christensen, remained on the navigating bridge and in over-all command of his vessel. The second officer and a qualified helmsman were also in attendance on the bridge, a lookout was stationed on the bow and the chief mate was also present on the bow to stand by the anchor in the event it had to be let go. At all relevant times the navigation lights aboard the S.S. EXEMPLAR were burning brightly.

 8. At all relevant times on the morning of February 16, 1961, it was totally dark, dawn had not begun to break, but the atmosphere was clear and night visibility was good. The wind was from the northeast at approximately 4 to 6 knots, and the tidal current was flooding in a northerly direction at approximately 2 knots.

 9. The S.S. EXEMPLAR passed a beam of Buoy No. 20 at 0520 hrs. and a beam of Buoy No. 25 at 0526 hrs. The distance between Buoys 20 and 25 is approximately 2940 yds. as measured on Coast and Geodetic Survey Chart No. 470, American Export's Exhibit "5" in evidence, and the EXEMPLAR was making good a speed of approximately 14.5 knots over the ground during that period of time. During the same period of time the EXEMPLAR's bell book indicates that her engines were making turns for "full maneuvering speed" (60 revolutions or approximately 12 knots). The combined effect of the flooding current and wind was to increase the EXEMPLAR's speed by approximately 2.5 knots. Shortly thereafter both the pilot and the first mate observed the lights of the dredge ADMIRAL at approximately 3 to 4 miles distance while it was still around the channel bend. There were no obstructions between the EXEMPLAR and the dredge ADMIRAL and the visual sighting was made on a line crossing Hog Island.

 10. At 0535 hrs. the EXEMPLAR slowed to "half speed" (40 revolutions or approximately 8 knots).

 11. At 0537 the EXEMPLAR exchanged whistle signals with the ADMIRAL whereby the dredge directed the EXEMPLAR to pass to starboard (westward of the dredge). Thereafter, the pilot, not having observed the unlighted barge or the unlighted buoy, aligned the EXEMPLAR to pass equidistant between the lighted dredge ADMIRAL and unidentifiable floating objects just outside the westward edge of the channel.

 12. At 0541 the EXEMPLAR reduced speed to slow speed, (20 revolutions or approximately 4 knots), not counting the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.