The opinion of the court was delivered by: KRAFT
1. Libellant, Gulf Oil Corporation, is a Pennsylvania corporation, and was at all times material herein the owner of the T-2 type tanker Gulfmeadows.
2. At all times material, respondent, United States of America, was the owner of the self-propelled, hopper-type dredge New Orleans, a public vessel of the United States of America operated by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army.
3. During the early morning hours of October 25, 1951, the Gulfmeadows (504 feet long between perpendiculars and 523 feet long overall, 68.2 feet wide and drawing 5 feet 3 inches forward and 20 feet 3 inches aft) was proceeding up the Delaware River at approximately 16 knots on a 2 knot flood tide.
4. The Gulfmeadows proceeded in the Liston Range (800 feet wide, 17 miles long and maintained by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army at a depth of 40 feet) in a northwesterly direction on the starboard (New Jersey or eastern) side of the channel.
5. During the course of this northwesterly run, the Gulfmeadows took various navigational markers abeam in the following sequence:
(a) Light, 'Ship John Shoal,' starboard hand.
(b) Buoy No. 42, flashing white, starboard hand, 23,400 feet northwest of 'Ship John Shoal' light.
(c) Buoy N-4L, unlighted, starboard hand, 13,600 feet northwest of buoy No. 42.
(d) Buoy C-5L, port hand, 4,500 feet northwest of buoy N-4L, normally unlighted, but on this date hung with two lighted lanterns.
(e) Buoy 6L, flashing white, starboard hand, 4,500 feet northwest of buoy C-5L.
(f) 'Dredging Buoy', two lighted lanterns, port hand, approximately 4,000 feet northwest of buoy 6L and 100 feet west of the westerly side of the channel.
6. At and during this time on the same date, the New Orleans was engaged in dredging operations on the westerly (Delaware) side of the channel.
7. The weather during the time in question was clear with good visibility; the wind was not a factor in ...