U.S. Supreme Court
The Civilta and the Restless, 103 U.S. 699 (1880)
The Civilta and the Restless
103 U.S. 699
1. A steam tug making between seven and eight knots an hour was towing a ship by a hawser leading astern two hundred and seventy feet. The course which they were sailing crossed that of a schooner moving at the rate of from two to three knots an hour at a point just ahead of the tug, or between her and the ship. The schooner had a competent man at her wheel and a lookout, both of whom did their duty faithfully. Her lights were properly set and brightly burning, and she kept her course about northeast. There was a pilot upon the ship, to whose orders the tug was subject. He, however, gave none. The tug did not slow her engine until the schooner was up to her, nor stop it until the schooner was about to strike the hawser. The course of the tug and the ship had then been changed about a point to the south. The ship struck the schooner on her port side, at about the fore-rigging, and sank her. Held that the ship and the tug, being in contemplation of law but one vessel under steam, were bound to keep out of the way of the schooner, and are liable for the damages which she sustained.
2. The form of decree sanctioned in The Alabama and the Gamecock, 92 U. S. 695, approved.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.