The Syracuse - 76 U.S. 672 (1869)
U.S. Supreme Court
The Syracuse, 76 U.S. 9 Wall. 672 672 (1869)
76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 672
A large steamer, without tows or other encumbrance, approaching near to smaller one's with tows under circumstances where collision is liable to occur is bound to move with caution. She is mistress of her course and motions, and stands in a position of advantage over the others. These have not full power over themselves. Seventeen miles an hour, in such a situation, is too great a rate of speed for the larger and freer vessel to be moving at among vessels having tows.
This was an appeal in admiralty from the decree of the Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York, which, on a libel filed by the owners of the steamer Rip Van Winkle against the steam tow boat Syracuse for a collision, had held the complaining boat itself in fault, and the tug boat not liable.