would be to have the lines running as horizontal as possible from dock to ship. This would provide protection not only against the lines slipping off the bollards with the expected rise of water, but also against the lines snapping with the roll of the ship. A more vertical line, because it would not have the slack of the horizontal line, would tend to snap more readily with a roll of the ship away from it. Furthermore, the use of more bollards would ensure against the wire ropes binding against the manilla ropes to cause them to part. All the lines from the stern of the ship should not have been placed on the one bollard at the end of the dock (N.T. 123, 348, 440). Though Captain Quistgaard later changed his opinion about extending the lines across the pier, his principal objection being that the horn on the bollards on the south side faced the center of the pier and, therefore, would not prevent the line from slipping off (N.T. 459-460), he freely admitted that, by running the rope around the bollard under the horn, it would be prevented from slipping off (N.T. 478-9). To further support his change of opinion, Captain Quistgaard testified that, with lines to the bollards on both sides of the pier, the differences in length of the lines would make it difficult, if not impossible, to equalize the tension upon them and that, therefore, there would be less strength than under the arrangement ordered by Master Adam (N.T. 464-5). It would appear from this testimony, however, that the Captain was assuming that the regular manilla rope would be attached to the bollards across the pier. It nowhere appears that it would not be feasible to arrange the lines so as to equalize the tension upon them by placing the wire rope, which is not so elastic as the manilla rope, on the bollards across the pier, while placing the manilla rope on the bollards close to the ship. Also, adjustment of the ropes could be made if necessary. It is to be noted that the Captain gave his first opinion as to the propriety of using the bollards across the pier with particular reference to insurance wires (N.T. 118-9, 142). Such arrangement would also, as mentioned above, prevent the wire rope from binding against the manilla rope.
It is concluded, therefore, that the failure of Master Adam to use the bollards on the south side of the pier constituted a lack of nautical skill and precaution. It has not been shown that mooring the Queen Maud by using these additional bollards would not have prevented this accident. The wind was not so severe as to cause the lines in use to part. Captain Quistgaard testified that it would require a sustained wind or gust of 175 m.p.h. to part the lines in use (N.T. 160). The gusts recorded on this day, as far as this record shows, were nowhere near this velocity. Some other factor, such as improper mooring with the lines used, would, therefore, have caused the accident.
In addition to the foregoing, experts for both the parties testified that, if the storm warnings so warranted it, the entire crew should have been required to remain on the ship (N.T. 90, 321). At the time of this accident, there were only ten or twelve men on board. However, in shifting from one pier to another, as the Queen Maud did in the morning of October 15, 1954, the entire crew should have been required to have been on board (N.T. 87-8). Therefore, some time after the Queen Maud berthed at Pier 76, Master Adam permitted most of the crew to go ashore. This was improper. Hurricane warnings had been issued at least by late afternoon of October 14, 1954 (Exhibit L-2). The record shows that Master Adam himself had heard warnings every half hour throughout the day of October 15, 1959 (Exhibit L-1). Therefore, Master Adam knew, or should have known, see The President Madison, supra, 91 F.2d at page 841, of the hurricane warnings before he permitted the crew to leave the ship. Furthermore, these warnings did not justify dismissal of the crew. The severity of the storm was adequately depicted. Master Adam, who presumably had knowledge of the erratic nature of hurricanes, would certainly not have been entitled to rely on the prediction that the storm center would pass 70 miles west of Philadelphia. The necessity for a full crew during this storm was well exemplified by the testimony of Fred Fay, the captain of the pier security guards, who was instrumental in securing the Queen Maud to Pier 77 and preventing further damage to it. He related how difficult it was to get the attention of anyone of board to throw him a line (N.T. 227, 241). Although this incident relates essentially to respondents' liability for failure to take proper precaution after the ship broke loose, it shows that danger of undermanning a vessel during such conditions as existed at this time. To prevent breaking from its moorings during the storm, a full crew may well have been required to stand by the ropes to adjust them, when necessary, to equalize the tension upon them.
Other suggested items of negligence, such as failure to sink the ship at the pier or failure to go out to sea, need not be considered.
Conclusions of Law
1. The court has jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter.
2. Respondents have the burden of coming forward with evidence to show that the damage to libellant's pier, caused by the drifting of the Queen Maud from its mooring, was the result of an inevitable accident which a proper display of nautical skill could not have prevented.
3. Respondents have failed to produce evidence to show that the damage to libellant's pier, caused by their ship drifting from its moorings, was the result of an inevitable accident which a proper display of nautical skill could not have prevented.
4. James Adam, Master of the Queen Maud, and agent of respondents, failed to display that nautical skill required under the conditions that confronted him on October 15, 1954, in that (1) he failed (a) to utilize the bollards on the south side of Pier 76, using at least some additional mooring lines for this purpose, or, at the least, (b) to use breast lines; and (2) he failed to retain aboard the full complement of crew, though he had knowledge of the approach of the hurricane.
5. On this record, the above legal conclusions follow whether the burden of proof, as opposed to the burden of going forward with the evidence, rests upon libellant or respondents.
6. Respondents are libel for the damage to libellant's pier and bulkhead.
All requests for conclusions of law which are inconsistent with the foregoing are denied.
Libellant may submit an order in accordance with the foregoing, stating that the issue of liability has been decided in its favor, if it so desires. Counsel shall notify the undersigned if they are unable to agree upon the issue of damages within three months.