WHITRIDGE V. DILL, 64 U. S. 448 (1859)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Whitridge v. Dill, 64 U.S. 23 How. 448 448 (1859)

Whitridge v. Dill

64 U.S. (23 How.) 448


In a collision which took place between two schooners in the Chesapeake Bay, the colliding vessel, being the larger, and fastest sailer and attempting to pass the smaller to windward, was in fault because there was not a sufficient lookout.

The absence of a lookout is not excusable because of an accident which had happened and which required all hands to be called to haul in the damaged mainsail.

She was also in fault because, being not sufficiently to the windward to have passed the other vessel in safety, she did not seasonably give way and pass to the right, the wind being from the northwest and both vessels directing their course north by east, the smaller vessel laying one point closer to the wind than the larger.

Where a vessel astern, in an open sea and in good weather, is sailing faster than the one ahead, and pursuing the same general direction, if both vessels are close-hauled on the wind, the vessel astern, as a general rule, is bound to give way, or to adopt the necessary precautions to avoid a collision.

Cases cited to illustrate this principle.

This was a libel filed in the district court by Joshua Dill and ten others, owners of the schooner Henry R. Smith against the schooner Fannie Crocker for running down and sinking the schooner Henry R. Smith.

Page 64 U. S. 449

The facts of the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.

The district court decreed against the Fannie Crocker, and this decree was affirmed by the circuit court. Whitridge and the other owners appealed to this Court.

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