Bentley v. Coyne,
71 U.S. 509 (1866)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bentley v. Coyne, 71 U.S. 4 Wall. 509 509 (1866)

Bentley v. Coyne

71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 509


1. Where a vessel has the wind free, or is sailing before or with the wind, she must keep out of the way of the vessel which is close-hauled by the wind or sailing by or against it. Those close-hauled on the wind or sailing on the starboard tack must keep their course.

2. But these established rules of navigation do not apply after a vessel advancing in violation of them is so near another vessel that by such other vessel's adhering to them, a collision would be inevitable. A departure from them under such circumstances by a vessel otherwise not in fault will not impair her right to recover for injuries occasioned by the collision.

These were appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan in a libel and cross-libel for collisions of vessels on Lake Michigan, the questions involved being of fact chiefly, and the cases being submitted.

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