can feasibly be given. However, the logic behind the Act has greater applicability. More specifically, the owner of a submerged obstruction is in a better position to prevent a collision by lighting the obstruction than a mariner navigating in the vicinity. Consequently, at least until the time when adequate notice can be given to seamen, the onus should be on the owner of the obstruction to prevent a mishap.
At the time of the second collision the plaintiff, pursuant to Coast Guard instruction, had placed a second sign on the outfall line, facing down the river and marking its terminus. Conceivably, had this sign been lit the second collision, which occurred at night, could have been prevented.
The plaintiff maintains that since the signs, marking the outfall line, were placed there in accordance with the Coast Guard recommendations, and after their erection had been approved by the Coast Guard, they had satisfied any requirements for adequately marking the pipe. This alone, however, is not sufficient to insulate the plaintiff from a finding of negligence on its part.
As stated by the court in Lew Warden, Jr. v. City of Los Angeles,  A.M.C. 970, 974, "The fact that the Coast Guard failed to specify lights on audible devices after its own study was not binding on the trial court on the issue of negligence. . . ."
In the case at bar, the plaintiff was aware that vessels travel that portion of the Cohansey River adjacent to their plant at night. Further, they were aware that the sign marking the terminus of the outfall line was a daymarker and, as such, was not designed to be seen at night. The plaintiff's own witness, Mr. Bell, testified at trial that he was unable to see the sign, the night of the second collision, while standing on the shore some 320 feet away. (Tr. vol. 1, p. 109). Additionally, common sense dictates that the best way to insure that the sign be seen at night is to light it.
The plaintiff, as owner of a structure which extends into a navigable waterway, has a duty to adequately mark such structure. Failure to do so with an appropriate warning is negligence. Plantation Pipe Line at 2558.
In the instant case, the Court finds that the plaintiff, knowing of the night traffic on the river, failed to exercise reasonable care by providing only a daymarker to indicate the position of the outfall line within the waterway. However, at the time of the second collision the Local Notice to Mariners had issued and the outfall line had been noted on the Loran Chart. Therefore, the seamen on the barge and tug had been put on notice as to the location of the outfall line, as they had a responsibility to be aware of the contents of the applicable Charts and Notices and failure to do so constitutes negligence. See, Placid Oil Company v. S.S. Willowpool, 214 F. Supp. 449, 453 (E.D.Tex.1963). Clearly, then, there was also negligence on the part of the mariners involved in the second collision.
Finding both parties negligent, the Court must apply the comparative negligence standard set forth in United States v. Reliable Transfer Co., 421 U.S. 397, 411, 95 S. Ct. 1708, 1715, 44 L. Ed. 2d 251 (1975). This standard provides that when two or more parties have contributed by their fault to cause property damage in a maritime collision, liability for such damage is to be allocated among the parties proportionately to the comparative degree of their fault. Under this standard, it is culpability, not the degree of causation on which liability is apportioned. Port of Seattle v. M/V Saturn, 562 F. Supp. 70 (W.D. Washington, 1983).
The Court finds the plaintiff, Cumberland County Utilities Authority, to be primarily culpable. It was in the best position to prevent collision with the outfall line by simply lighting the sign that marked its terminus.
Accordingly, the Court finds the defendants Interstate Towing Co. and Gellenthin Bulk Transport to be 40% at fault, and the plaintiff Cumberland County Utilities Authority to be 60% at fault.
For the reasons stated above, the plaintiff's complaint against defendants M/T Delbar, Taylor and Anderson, Delaware River Barge Company and Gellenthin Bulk Transport Company, relating to the first incident, occurring on July 6, 1978, shall be dismissed. As to the second incident, on July 14, 1979, the plaintiff will be awarded 40% of the stipulated damages of $ 99,876.57 resulting from that collision. Judgment in this amount to be entered against the defendants, Interstate Towing Company, Interstate and Ocean Transport Co. and Gellenthin Bulk Transportation Corp. Each party is to bear its own costs. The Court shall enter the appropriate order.