The Nacoochee,
137 U.S. 330 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

The Nacoochee, 137 U.S. 330 (1890)

The Nacoochee

Nos. 87, 88

Argued November 24, 1890

Decided December 8, 1890

137 U.S. 330




In a collision, in a dense fog which flung low down over the water, in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape May, between a steamer and a fishing schooner, the steamer was going at half-speed, between six and seven knots an hour, and the schooner about four knots an hour. When so running, the steamer would forge ahead 600 to 800 feet after reversing her engines, before beginning to go backwards. The steamer first sighted the schooner when the latter was about 500 feet distant. The schooner first sighted the steamer when 400 to 500 feet distant. The steamer reversed her engines full speed astern in about 12 seconds, but did not attain backward motion before the collision. The bow of the steamer struck the port quarter of the schooner about 10 feet from the taffrail, and sank her. The steamer, on a north half east course, had overhauled and sighted the schooner, on a north-northeast course, with the wind south-southeast, about an hour before, and had passed to the eastward of her, and heard her fog horn. Thinking she heard cries of distress to the starboard, the steamer ported and changed her course 13 1/2 points, to south-southeast. The schooner had on deck one man at the wheel, and one man forward as a lookout and blowing the fog horn, and 14 men below. The schooner kept her course. Her fog horn was heard by the steamer before the steamer sighted her.


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