The opinion of the court was delivered by: BONSAL
This is a suit in admiralty to recover damages for the loss and contamination by sea water of a cargo of lubricating oils during carriage aboard the S.S. AMERICAN TRADER ("AMERICAN TRADER") from Texas ports to Bombay. Jurisdiction is based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1333, 1337. Plaintiffs are Asiatic Petroleum Corporation ("Asiatic"), charterer of the AMERICAN TRADER; Burmah Shell Oil Storage & Distributing Co. of India, Ltd. ("Burmah Shell"), the owner of the cargo at all times herein relevant; and Great American Insurance Company ("Great American"), the marine insurer of the cargo. Defendants are the AMERICAN TRADER, and the American Trading and Production Corporation ("ATACORP"), the owner and operator of the AMERICAN TRADER at all times herein relevant.
Defendants assert two counterclaims: (1) for expenses incurred by them when, at plaintiffs' request, defendants delayed the transshipment of the cargo from the AMERICAN TRADER to the S.S. ANNE at Benghazi; and (2) for plaintiffs' share of the general average declared in Benghazi.
The parties stipulated to the following facts which appear in Schedule "A" to the Pre-Trial Order, each party reserving the right to object as to materiality and relevance:
" SCHEDULE 'A' STIPULATION OF FACTS
1. Defendant AMERICAN TRADING & PRODUCTION CORPORATION (hereinafter ATACORP) was the owner and operator of the S.S. AMERICAN TRADER during all times herein relevant.
2. All transverse and longitudinal bulkheads were of 'corrugated' construction with vertical web stiffeners.
3. A true copy of the said charter party is attached hereto as Exhibit 'A'.
4. Defendant tendered the vessel for loading at Smith's Bluff, Texas, on January 12, 1965.
5. On January 12, 1965, from 6:40 A.M. to 11:40 P.M. at Smith's Bluff, Texas, a part of a cargo of Grade LVI-450 (Code 69618) Lubricating Oil was loaded onto the S.S. AMERICAN TRADER. On January 13, 1965, the said vessel sailed from Smith's Bluff to Beaumont, Texas.
6. On January 16, 1965, after 1730 hours the S.S. AMERICAN TRADER sailed to Baytown, Texas, arriving there at 0844 hours, January 17, 1965, and docked at the Humble Oil & Refining Company dock at about 0845 hours.
7. Loading began at 9:15 A.M., January 17, 1965 and ended January 18, 1965 at approximately 055 hours.
8. After loading was completed at Baytown, the vessel issued certain bills of lading, true copies of which are attached hereto as Exhibits 'B-1'.
9. The S.S. AMERICAN TRADER then sailed for the Mediterranean, and arrived at Ceuta, Morocco on, or about, February 1, 1965 at 1448 hours.
10. The vessel took on bunkers at Ceuta and sailed from Ceuta for the Suez Canal at approximately 0100 hours on February 2, 1965.
11. As the vessel entered the harbor at Ceuta, a slight oil slick was detected by the officers and/or crew, which they determined was coming ...