Wilder v. Placid Oil, 5th Cir. 1998
Facts: Plaintiffs sought to recover damages from the company for personal injuries and
property loss allegedly sustained when one plaintiff's aluminum boat, in which both plaintiffs were riding, struck a steel well-head casing pipe allegedly owned and maintained by the company. The body of water was a tributary and only navigable at certain seasons. (Force says this case is also applicable to ports that are iced over in the winter)
Issue: Is the waterway considered navigable for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction?
Reasoning: The court looks at whether or not the water is capable of supporting maritime
commerce. If the waterway can be used at a time each your for maritime commerce then it is navigable no matter what time the incident occurs. The court points to the artificial bodies of water. If man can create bodies of water capable of commerce then why can this be capable too.