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in a proper case the Crown generally relieves them. Swallow. Leila. Resolute. Leda.
944. Each party paid his own costs of the reference as to amount of damage, where less than one-third, although more than one-fourth of the plaintiff's claim was allowed. Peerless.
945. The plaintiff, failing to prove the identity of the defendant's ship with the offender, was ordered to pay the costs of the suit; but the court did not award damages against him for the detention, inasmuch as his conduct appeared to be bond fide. There was difficulty of identification from darkness, and he had made subsequent inquiries, which afforded good grounds for believing that the defendant was the offending ship. Active. Evangelismos.
946. The Board of Trade may procure a jury of twentyfour persons, to be summoned to determine the number, names, and descriptions of all persons killed or injured by reason of any wrongful act or default. 1 M. S. A. 507. Sections 508 and 509 prescribe the proceedings to be adopted, and provide for the costs of such inquiry, and empower the Board of Trade to enter into certain compromises in respect of death or personal injury. Section 510 declares that the damages payable in each case of death or injury shall be assessed at £30. These damages are the first charge on the aggregate fund for which the owner is liable. The application of the amount is prescribed by that section. · 947. COURTS OF LAW.—The owner of the injured ship or cargo, the passenger or other person who has sustained personal loss or loss of property, the personal representatives of persons who have been destroyed, the salvers of goods, may all proceed in the courts of common law by action for the damage which they have sustained. The judgment of the court of law is against the owners of the vessels or goods which have occasioned the injury, or had the benefit of the salvage, and it is executed against their persons and goods. · 948. But relief in some cases encounters difficulties, to
which we have already referred in cases of collision, where both vessels are in the wrong, and salvors can have no division among them in those courts of the amount which they may recover.
949. We must refer to Lush and other large treatises for the proceedings at common law. · 950. The actions in these courts, however numerous, may all be stayed by the Court of Chancery, when the damage she has done exceeds the value of the ship.
951. The right of action for damages, for loss of life, or personal injury, is reserved (1 M. S. A. 512) in case the Board of Trade decline to interfere, or in certain terms if the claimant is dissatisfied with the amount assessed (ib. 511); but by resorting to this right he loses the priority of lien, which he otherwise has, against the fund. Ib. 513.
952. THE COURT OF CHANCERY in England or Ireland, and the Court of Session in Scotland, and any competent court in any British possession, subject to the right given to the Board of Trade of recovering damages in the United Kingdom in respect of loss of life or personal injury, may entertain proceedings at the suit of the shipowner, where any liability has been, or is alleged to have been, incurred by the owner in respect of loss of life, personal injury, or loss of or damage to ships, boats, or goods, and several claims are made or apprehended, for the purpose of determining the amount of such liability, subject as aforesaid, and for distri. bution of such amount rateably amongst the several claimants. And such court may stop all actions and suits pending in any other court in relation to the same subject-matter. Its proceedings are conducted in such manner, and subject to such regulations, as to making any persons interested parties and the exclusion of claimants who do not come in within a certain time, and requiring security from the owner and payment of costs as the court thinks fit. 1 M. S. A. 514.
953. The shipowner, to sustain his bill in Chancery for injunction, and for the ascertainment and distribution of the
value among claimants, or expected claimants, must admit his liability. Hill v. Andus.
954. The bill may be sustained after actions commenced in the court of law. The injunction will be granted only on payment into court of the value of the ship and freight, to be stated by the shipowner, or, when she belongs to a company, by its managing director or proper officer, having regard to the Act of Parliament. African Steam Ship Company v. Swanzey.
955. It may be sustained after a decree of the Court of Admiralty condemning the sbip and freight with costs, and an order for appraisement and sale,-indeed, at any time before actual sale; and although the Court of Chancery will not exercise a direct control over the ship, if in the custody of the officer of the Admiralty, it will impose terms on the party who obtained the condemnation to enable Chancery to apportion the proceeds among all entitled to participate. But when she has been sold the shipowner must pay into court the difference, if any, between the value of the ship and freight and the amount realized by the sale. Leycester v. Logan.
956. The order for an injunction also directs advertisements to discover the claimants, and an inquiry as to the value of the ship and freight, and how it ought to be apportioned among the persons who may establish their claims (African Steam Ship Company v. Swanzey); and the amount is apportioned accordingly.
WRECK AND CIVIL SALVAGE.
957. WRECK. We have treated on the subjects of management and mismanagement and misconduct, and their
consequences, as they arise on the open sea or in the waters of a particular state.
Human power and skill are often unequal to the terrible encounter with the winds and waves and other perils of the ocean.
Part of the cargo, or the whole, or all things movable, must go overboard to lighten the ship to save her from foundering or wreck.
The consideration of the average, which all interested should bear in the common loss from this calamity, is collateral to the laws of navigation. Its ramifications are of vast extent. It was the favourite topic of the laws of Rhodes, of Rome, of Oleron, and the Consolato del Mare, an interesting topic; but it does not fall within the compass of this work.
All has gone overboard; the good ship strives and strains and struggles ; the knowledge of the pilot, the skill of the master, the energy of the crew, the industry of the sailors, the labour and appliances of the pumps and her carpenters, battle with the billows in vain ; she is abandoned, water-logged; she is stranded or hurled upon the shore ;—where are her cargo and her crew ? She has not in vain sounded the signals of distress. Intrepid mariners are issuing from the coast. Pilots, more conversant with the danger, are straining their strength towards her. They are on board ; the bravery of the lifeboat has at length overcome the breaking and baffling billows, or the life-preserving cannon has roared in grateful thunder, and flung the rope of salvation, instead of the bolt of destruction, upon her quaking deck. She struggles ; she heaves heavily; the storm and the waters yield; she is rescued at the extremest struggle.
Such services deserve requital. The case of the wreck and the law of salvage are, to some extent, incident to the rights of navigation, for they are the protectors of those rights.
958. The barbarian regards the treasures and the timber
montain in be found
with which the storm has strewed his coasts as the gifts of the bounteous ocean, and slaughters or enslaves the wretches who cling to the wreck. The lord of the barbarians seizes upon the godsend, and allows his vassals a scanty share.
Gentler savages have soothed the perishing mariners, administered to their necessities, gathered the fragments, and lent their rude assistance to repair the ship.
Civilization provides protection for the relics of the catastrophe, and for every one in distress; and gives to the common stock, by way of compensation for the charge it has to sustain in providing such protection, that for which no owner can be found. The institutions of all civilized nations do not quite agree, but the principles upon which they are founded are the same.
What we have stated, with modifications to correspond with the intermediate stages of society, affords the substance of the history of the law of wreck.
959. The Rhodians and, following them, the Romans, declared that the right of property was not relinquished by committing it in desperation to the custody of the waves; and that, though the storm had reft the ship from the mariner and hurled it upon the coast, it had not wrenched it from the dominion of the law; but that the owner might reclaim the fragments against the finder, and vindicate his title against the thief. To him who honestly preserved and restored it, Rhodes and Rome gave a liberal reward ; on those who attempted to plunder, they wreaked the fulness of their wrath. When no one entitled appeared after sufficient time and opportunity, they held the finders entitled to all descriptions of wreck, as though returned into the common stock and belonging to those who should first appropriate it to their use, and, perhaps, as an inducement to keep it carefully until a claimant should appear.
960. Wreck was one of the eight“pack-horses ” of the kings of Wales, or, rather, it was borne to him by one of his pack-horses, the sea. (Venedolian and Dimetian Codes,