Admiralty – Collision – Duty of Third Vessel to Give Warning

Washington, a private merchantman proceeding north at night through a large United States Navy formation steaming west, received no warning from formation commanders that Ruchamkin, an escort, was rejoining from the east. Uninformed of Washington’s presence and ordered to resume station expeditiously, Ruchamkin entered the formation at high speed. Despite late radical maneuvers upon discovery of Washington close aboard, Ruchamkin was struck by the latter’s bow with resulting damage to both ships. On reciprocal libels, held, decree for Washington’s owner. In addition to Ruchamkin’s failure to anticipate Washington, the United States was negligent in that the formation commanders made no effective effort to caution Washington of the imminent peril created by Ruchamkin’s obedience to their orders. The Ruchamkin, (E.D. Va. 1956) 141 F. Supp. 97.