The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 256: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, May-July, 1919. Page: 21
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THE MAY M'GUIRL
stone's side, one line run from her to the Keystone, and the tug went
away, leaving 225 feet of brick scows, head on to the Keystone, form-
ing a right angle with her at approximately amidships, and fast to
nothing else, with the tide rising, and the wind, though light, tending
to swing the tow. That this was a dangerous situation seems very
plain; that it was unnecessary is proven by the admission of the Mc-
Guirl's master that it was possible to put the boats alongside the Key-
stone "if you had cared to do it"; and that there was nothing to pre-
vent putting the Augusta R. and Rich alongside each other, instead
of tandem-a position which put an enormous leverage on any lines
the Augusta R. could get out from her bow or front end to the Key-
There was no protest on the part of the two men who made up the
crews of the scows at being left in this way. After the tug's departure
they attempted, by using their winches, to do what the tug should have
done, or furnished the power to do; i. e., get alongside the Keystone
and each other. Man power proved insufficient for the work, so they
got the side of the Augusta R. against the 15 feet of free bulkhead,
made, as fast as they could to that mooring, and left the Rich tail-
ing on- behind. When the tide fell, the end of the Augusta R. pro-
jecting beyond the bulkhead seems to have swung it toward the land,
and when the water got low enough caught on some obstruction; the
scow listed, dumped most of her cargo, and injured herself. These
suits were brought to recover for these damages, which in the opin-
ion of the lower court, and in our opinion, were proximately caused
by the failure of the McGuirl to give the scows the best mooring the
The efforts of the boatmen were not successful, but they did the
best they could, wherein the case differed from The Britannia, 252
Fed. 583, - C. C. A. -. Nor is there any evidence that they might
have done anything better, or different, to mend a situation produced
by the tug.
We are not unmindful that the master of the Rich is of opinion that
the tug could not have done, at the time of her departure, what we
find negligence in her not doing. We think, first, that the tug master
knew better than the scow captain what was possible; and, second,
if he is right, that the tug should not have gone away until safety was
Decrees affirmed, with interest and costs.
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 256: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, May-July, 1919., legislative document, 1919; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38827/m1/35/: accessed February 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.