The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 73
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resting on an even keel, her freeboard amidships was less than at
At about 6 o'clock the captain and crew went ashore, leaving the en-
gineer in charge for the night.
If there was negligence in so loading and in so leaving the vessel, it
was the neglience of the libelant's servants.
The vessel made water more or less at all times, taking in more
when loaded than when light. She carried three siphons and one
pump, but seldom had occasion to use more than one siphon. During
the night in question, the engineer pumped her "dry" three times (that
is, he lowered the water beyond the reach of the siphon), pumping
about one hour each time and concluded at the hours of 9 P. M., 12 M.,
and 3:30 A. M. respectively. He was awakened at about 4:30 A. M. by
the water rushing into the hold from the starboard coal bunker deck
opening. Upon going hastily on deck, he found that the vessel had a
list toward the pier, that her starboard rail was under water, and that
the water was about a foot deep on the starboard deck amidships. He
attempted to close the starboard coal bunker hatch into which the wa-
ter was flowing, but failing, the vessel filled rapidly and sank.
The vessel was afterward raised, and, upon being put into dry dock,
was subjected to several surveys. These disclosed a leak in her side
(which was of no consequence) and that the lead sleeve, designed to
keep water from entering the seams of the rudder port, was badly
worn, and that the seams in the rudder port were open, permitting wa-
ter when driven from a hose from within, to flow out in streams of
varying sizes. Witnesses for the libelant testified, that, under the
greater pressure upon the vessel when in the water and down at the
stern, water would flow in in quantities sufficient to sink her, and that,
in the opinion of some of them, the defective condition of the rudder
port and its sleeve amounted to unseaworthiness and was the cause of
the vessel sinking.
The counter testimony of the claimant tended to prove that the ad-
mittedly defective condition of the rudder port of the "Transit" was
not unusual in vessels of her age and build; that it did not amount to
unseaworthiness and did not cause the vessel to sink; but, that she
sank through a cause that had no relation to the rudder port or to its
Upon the first point it was testified for the claimant, that water,
when directed against the rudder port by a hose from within, seeped
through many places and flowed freely through several places in
streams varying in size from that of a spike hole to that of a nail
hole, and that all the water, if brought together, would make a stream
no greater than from one to one and one-half inches in diameter;
that gauged by the time actually required to fill the vessel's water tanks
from a two and one-half inch hose under city pressure, and by the low-
ering of the vessel an inch or two in the operation, as shown by ex-
-perience, the vessel could not be sunk by the quantity of water that
would come through the rudder port leaks in one hour, but that it
would take anywhere from a whole night to several days for enough
water coming through the leaks to sink her.
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/88/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.