British Columbia Mills Tug & Barge Co. v. Myrolie,
259 U.S. 1 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

British Columbia Mills Tug & Barge Co. v. Myrolie, 259 U.S. 1 (1922)

British Columbia Mills Tug & Barge Company v. Myrolie

No. 190

Argued March 23, 24, 1922

Decided May 15, 1922

259 U.S. 1


1. A vessel, off her course on a dark and stormy night in the vicinity of dangerous shores, is held to the highest degree of vigilance in maintaining the most effective lookout. P. 259 U. S. 7. The Ariadne, 13 Wall. 475.

2. In this case, there was negligence in stationing the lookout in the wheelhouse only when a better opportunity to see ahead was afforded at the bow. P. 259 U. S. 6.

3. Upon the evidence, held that the petitioner's tug was guilty of negligence in taking her tow, the respondent's barge, dangerously near to the shore, and in then changing her course by a right angle suddenly, without a warning signal, with the result that the barge's shackle, to which the to line was attached, gave way under a sudden lateral strain and the barge was cast adrift and grounded. P. 259 U. S. 4.

4. A towage contract providing that a tug will render reasonable assistance to a barge from time to time in any emergency, and whilst at anchor be within call to render such reasonable assistance, but that the tug owner shall not be liable for any damage to the barge or cargo while in tow or at anchor, is to be construed as

Page 259 U. S. 2

leaving the tug liable for damage to the barge or cargo while in tow due to the tug' failure to render reasonable assistance to the barge in an emergency. P. 259 U. S. 11.

268 F. 449 affirmed.

Certiorari to a decree of the circuit court of appeals which reversed a decree of the district court dismissing a libel in rem filed by the present respondent, against a tug owned by the petitioner, to recover for damage to the respondent's barge and its cargo, resulting, as it was alleged, from the unseaworthiness of the tug and the negligence and want of skill of those in charge of her.

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