aboard the Laura Maersk. Use of the whistle waws no doubt prompted by the apparent failure of the bell to warn those aboard the Laura Maersk of the impending collision.
The evidence, even aside from any legal presumption in the Bohemian Club's favor, supports a conclusion that the Laura Maersk was at fault. The speed at which the Laura Maersk proceeded down the Deepwater Point Range was excessive under the prevailing weather conditions, and was not sufficiently diminished by the various changes in engine speed and direction which were made just prior to the collision. I am in sympathy with the current trend away from the strict "rule of sight", the rule which requires a vessel to be held at fault by the mere fact that she was unable to come to a standstill within the distance of visibility. But unwillingness to consider that rule entirely adequate and to apply it strictly does not indicate a willingness to sanction proceeding at a speed so great as to prevent a stopping reasonably likely to be required under the prevailing and prospective conditions of visibility.
In the instant case the Laura Maersk had a clear view for a considerable distance on the westward side of the Deepwater Point Range, but there was an apparent heavy fog bank lying ahead on the eastward side. Knowledge of the length and direction of the ranges must be imputed to the pilot aboard the Laura Maersk. Therefore it was incumbent upon the pilot to regulate the Laura Maersk's speed so that she could be maneuvered safely under any reasonably probable circumstance in weather such as that on the day of the collision. The frequent fogginess earlier encountered and the heavy fog lying on the eastward side of the Range dictated a much slower speed than that which was ordered. Not only was there a likelihood that some ship had been required by the fog to come to anchor, but there was a chance that another vessel under way was hidden in the fog ahead, had lost its course, and consequently presented a hazard to navigation. Furthermore, the frequent passage from foggy to clear atmospheres was in itself a circumstance suggesting slow speeds.
Clearly, the Laura Maersk was proceeding at a speed which was excessive in view of the apparent prevailing conditions. This was a cause of the collision, and the Laura Maersk therefore was at fault.
Conclusions of Law.
1. Those in charge of the Bohemian Club were without fault in anchoring on the eastern side of the upper end of Bulkhead Bar Range at 7:41 A.M.
2. Those in charge of the Bohemian Club were justified in moving her shortly after 10 A.M., when the fog cleared, and in anchoring her again at 10:18, when the fog again obscured indicia of position.
3. The measures required of a vessel at anchor in fog were taken by those in charge of the Bohemian Club after she was anchored at 10:18 A.M.
4. Those in charge of the Laura Maersk were negligent in the navigation of the Laura Maersk.
5. The collision was a proximate consequence of the negligence of those in charge of the Laura Maersk's navigation.
6. The cross-libel filed by A. P. Moller against the Bohemian Club must be dismissed, with costs.
7. A decree should be entered in favor of the Atlantic Refining Company, owner of the Bohemian Club, for the full amount of damages sustained by reason of the collision, and costs.
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