RETRIEVER; HUGHLI Vs. DRACHENFELS
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Ameer Ali, J -
(1.) These two cases for salvage reward promoted respectively by the owners, captains and crews of the steam tugs Hughli and Retriever against the German steamship Drachenfels were consolidated at the instance of the latter ship by an order of this Court made on the 15th October 1898. To the consequence of this order I shall refer by and by, but I cannot help expressing at this stage my regret at the inordinate length of the hearing and the amount of public time, which, in spite of every endeavour on my part to keep the discussions confined to the real issues, has been spent over non-essentials. One other remark seems to me necessary before going to the facts of the case.
(2.) It was open to the parties to ask for the appointment of assessors and as they have not chosen to do so, should I fall into any misapprehension with regard to any matter of technical detail, the responsibility must be theirs.
(3.) The Drachenfels is a German steamship of about 900 H.P., her nett tonnage being 1,573 or 1,574 tons, and her gross tonnage 2,463. She left Calcutta on the 11 September, and that same night at about 10 P.M. she discharged her pilot and stood out to sea. On the 12th she met bad weather. Admittedly she lost her rudder on the 13th, which fact, according to the captain of the Drachenfels, was discovered only on the 14th, She then tried to get back to Calcutta to remedy the damage that had happened to her. She got back to near about the Eastern Channel only on the 18th, and at 2 P.M. on that day Mr. Cox, the pilot, went on board of her, and at about 8 P.M. she anchored not far from the Eastern Channel Light. If I remember aright Mr. Cox says it was about 2 miles to the S.S.E.;
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