The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD
On December 20, 1939, the tanker Bohemian Club and the motor vessel Laura Maersk collided in the Delaware River at the upper end of the Bulkhead Bar Range, while the Bohemian Club was lying at anchor. The Bohemian Club's bow was damaged. The Laura Maersk sustained damage to her stem. The damage to both vessels was well above the water line. The Atlantic Refining Company, owner of the Bohemian Club, filed a libel on June 28, 1940, claiming $40,000 damages. A. P. Moller, managing owner of the Laura Maersk, filed a cross-libel on October 8, 1940, claiming $15,000 damages. The trials on the respective libels were consolidated.
I make the following special --
1. The libellant is and was at all times herein concerned a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is owner of the steamship Bohemian Club.
3. The steamship Bohemian Club is a tanker, 435 feet long over all.
4. The Laura Maersk is a motor vessel 483 feet 10 inches long over all.
5. On the morning of December 20, 1939, the Laura Maersk was proceeding down the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Bohemian Club was proceeding up the Delaware River toward Philadelphia with a cargo of crude oil, drawing 27 feet forward and 27 feet 1 inch aft.
6. Both the Laura Maersk and the Bohemian Club were in charge of pilots licensed for Delaware River.
7. At about 7:30 A.M. on December 20, 1939, the Bohemian Club turned off the New Castle Range onto the Bulkhead Bar Range and shortly thereafter encountered a dense fog.
8. After proceeding a short distance, the Bohemian Club came to anchor at 7:41 A.M., running out her starboard anchor. There were no anchorages within five miles, and no buoys were then visible.
9. A short while after 10 A.M. the buoy 2D, on the easterly side of the channel, at the intersection of the Bulkhead Bar and Deepwater Point Ranges and at the northerly end of the Bulkhead Bar Range, first became visible. When sighted it lay about 150 feet distant at an angle of about 45 degrees of the starboard bow.
10. At this time, the heading of the Bohemian Club was approximately 30 degrees.
11. The distance between the Bulkhead Bar Range line and the easterly boundary of the channel on which buoy 2D is located is about 400 feet.
12.The distance between the Bulkhead Bar Range line and the westerly boundary of the channel is about 800 feet.
13. The tide was ebb at the time buoy 2D was sighted and was due to change to flood approximately two hours later.
14. In order to lie clear of buoy 2D when the tide switched at 10:13 A.M., the Bohemian Club lifted her anchor, the engines were put slow ahead and the rudder was put hard right. At 10:15 A.M. the engines were stopped and at 10:18 A.M. the anchor was dropped, the fog having set in again, obscuring buoy 2D.
15. During the above maneuver, the heading of the ship changed to the westward from 30 degrees to 356 degrees.
16.When the anchor was dropped again, the heading changed eastward to approximately 50 degrees and shortly thereafter settled again at 30 degrees, which heading was ...