The Maritime Advocate–Issue 798


1. Our electric future
2. Nigerian update
3. Deep sea mining
4. Carbon baseline
5. Enclosed space rules
6. Adventure for charity
7. Deprioritising cyber security
8. Pilot transfer dangers
9. Competition investigation
10. Training record book
11. UK freight rate analysis
12. Pilots are not advisors to masters
13. Innovation awards
14. Top 100 women in shipping

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
Write to:

1. Our electric future

By Michael Grey

Here is a useful motoring tip that you probably will not discover in your service manual, should your new, all-electric vehicle inadvertently burst into flames. While your natural inclination might be to run for your life, it is suggested that the terrifying fire might be smothered in a blanket, or better still, the whole car immersed in a tank of water. I pass on these hints from a communication by Stream Marine Training, which, recognising some of the risks that are being run by seafarers and others involved with the new generation of lithium-ion batteries powering cars, is offering a two-day training course on firefighting. It would be worth checking out.

People don’t realise how dangerous these batteries are, with a particular risk being the “thermal runway” caused by the entire battery package overheating. And with very many more of these electric cars appearing, as we transition from hydrocarbon fuels, it would appear that it is something that the vehicle carrying sector badly needs to understand.

As this was written, salvors were getting to grips with a raging fire aboard the MOL car carrier Felicity Ace which had been abandoned by her crew some 90 miles south-west of the Azores on a westbound voyage to the US. She had sailed from Emden fully laden with a cargo of 4000 export cars, which included Bentleys, Porches, Audis and VWs. And while it would be speculation at this stage to blame the blaze on car battery ignition, it is a reasonable assumption that much of the load will have been electric vehicles. These, it has been found, burn with a ferocious heat, which within the enclosed decks of a car carrier would have been exceedingly difficult for the crew to fight. Nobody, surely, could blame them for the decision to evacuate, leaving the problem to the better equipped salvage professionals.

In all the enthusiasm for our zero-carbon future and a world powered by electricity, it is perhaps understandable that the less desirable characteristics of cars driven by batteries are skirted around in the sales material. But we have already had quite serious accidents caused by the tiny batteries in laptops or mobile phones going up in flames. It doesn’t happen very often, admittedly, but as the batteries get bigger and more powerful and they spread around the world, it maybe is something that more people ought to be aware of.

Tony In’t Hout, the director of SMT, which is offering the training courses in Glasgow, points to the hypothetical horror story of a ferry cardeck in which a hydrogen truck, an aluminium battery car and an LNG powered vehicle are stowed adjacent to one another when a fire breaks out. “What should the crew do in that scenario?” he asks. Actually knowing more about these risks would seem to be a useful investment, even if your first instinct is to abandon ship.

I can recall talking to a classification society surveyor who had been studying some of the risks of our electric future, and he was very concerned about the colossal heat generated should a battery ignite and how this could be safely isolated and contained. He was thinking about the new generation of battery-powered ferries, which are relatively few in number. A whole population of battery powered road vehicles is a very different proposition that now faces ship operators, who are going to be carrying more as cargo. It is also worth reminding ourselves that unit for unit, these battery-driven vehicles are very much heavier than petrol or diesel fuelled vehicles, which has serious implications for the vessel’s stability, or even capacity.

But it doesn’t need a lithium-ion battery to start a serious fire on a ferry or vehicle-carrier as a list of bad casualties which have been attributed to vehicle electrics grows ever longer. Several have resulted in the loss or CTL of the ship, as a gutted car carrier is fit for nothing but the scrap heap. There has been no shortage of helpful advice from administrations, class, P&I and other experts, including the need to disconnect batteries before the vessel sails and the requirement to take special care with used or damaged vehicles. But you won’t do this on a ferry, where you have to rely on a good fire-fighting system and a well-trained crew, and then have to put up with truck drivers who will try and sleep in their cabs and ill-maintained vehicles.

This is also being written while other salvors are trying to control the raging inferno that has spread the whole length of the Euroferry Olympic aboard which a truck caught fire in the small hours on her passage to Brindisi from Greece earlier this month. Nearly 280 people were evacuated from the ferry, but some 11 were still missing. Was that started by electricity? Looking at the video of this conflagration, it will be difficult to establish. But with an estimated $750m of charred luxury cars still blazing in the Atlantic, you have to wonder what hull and cargo insurers make of it all. And if I get around to buying an electric car, I shall make sure that I have an enormous tank of water on hand.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Nigerian update

The year 2021 brought notable developments which shaped a number of local and international activities within the Nigerian maritime industry. In this review, Bloomfield’s Shipping and Oil Services team considers some of these notable developments and shares its views and projections on the possible opportunities in the industry in 2022.

For more details see:

3. Deep sea mining

Deep sea mining has become a hot topic in recent times, says Watson Farley & Williams. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), a UN body, held their 26th council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, between 6 – 10 December 2021 and their assembly meeting between 13 – 15 December 2021, to agree a route for finalising regulations by July 2023 that would allow the undersea mining of cobalt, nickel and other metals to go ahead.

In scheduling the meeting, in spite of protests from a number of countries, the Secretary General of the ISA claimed that it must adopt the regulations by July 2023 because the Pacific Island nation of Nauru had triggered a so-called ‘two year rule’ in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2021 which requires the ISA to do so. However, many member countries of the ISA Council and scientists have warned that biodiversity loss in the deep ocean would be inevitable and irreversible if the ISA permits deep-sea mining to occur.

Part 1 of WFW’s series of articles examines why now and also what is required to make it happen in practical terms. Part 2, which will follow shortly, will discuss the legal and regulatory challenges of deep-sea mining and the numerous environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) risks it presents.

Please find here an article by WFW Partners Jan Mellmann, Toby Royal, Daisy East and Nick Walker,  Counsel David Handley and Senior Associate Valentina Keys.

4. Carbon baseline

FuelTrust, the technology company dedicated to creating a trusted and sustainable fuel ecosystem for the maritime industry, has announced the launch of Carbon Baseline. Carbon Baseline is an AI-enabled solution that delivers a detailed and verified baseline assessment of historical vessel and fleet emissions.

As shipping progresses towards its 50% carbon reduction target in 2050, progress of individual vessels towards this goal will be assessed based on historical baselines going back to 2008. Finance decisions, tax levies and ESG reporting will all be driven by this assessment of vessel performance and could result in major financial implications. Owners with a detailed and verified baseline assessment of historical fleet emissions, based on scientific analysis, will have a commercial and ESG compliance advantage over those using current emissions models that can only estimate performance.

FuelTrust’s Carbon Baseline service uses cloud-based AI and blockchain technology to deliver a validated historic carbon baseline in weeks, not months, at lower cost. The AI Digital Chemist uses historical operational data to calculate prior-year GHG emissions profiles for a vessel or fleet.

With a validated historic carbon baseline, owners can increase charter pricing for validated green ships, certify applications for carbon credits, and with FuelTrust’s independent emissions scoring, seek lower carbon taxes and fees globally.

Current emissions models offer only rough estimates, based on generic models that don’t account for chemical interactions, source fuel data, or supply and delivery chain impacts. Many also require massive amounts of manual input, or the installation of costly, high-maintenance devices aboard vessels.

AI Digital Chemist provides calculations based on a simulation of combustion at a molecular level, which considers differences between batches of fuels that current emission models cannot.

“With Carbon Baseline, class or flag authorities can be provided a more accurate, third-party verified report on the emissions reductions actually achieved, meaning the fleet owner, their customers and their investors can benefit,” said Darren Shelton, chief product officer at FuelTrust.

“Exact calculation is essential for the industry as not all fuels are created equal. Recent studies have shown that, for example, there can be an energy density difference of up to 3% between batches of the same fuel. There is also a significant carbon difference between batches,” Shelton continues. “By offering this higher level of granularity in our data, we can give owners and charterers a far better picture of what their GHG performance has been in the past and what will be in the future.”



5. Enclosed space rules

Seafarers will be better protected as new UK rules come into force to tighten up safety for those who work in enclosed spaces on board vessels.

The updated legislation goes further than that currently required under international maritime law and is part of the ongoing commitment by the UK to seafarer welfare.

Enclosed spaces include chain lockers, cargo holds, duct keels and water tanks – or any area that has been left closed for any length of time without ventilation.

Six people have died over a ten-year period from 2009 to 2019 in UK ports while working in such spaces, leading to this legislation being introduced. Although carrying out assignments in enclosed spaces is a necessary part of working on ships, the MCA is committed to reducing the risks and will continue to review how best to protect people in those environments.

The changes will replace previous legislation, requiring ships to protect workers from the risks of entry into enclosed spaces through measures such as regular safety drills and providing atmosphere testing equipment.

Given the serious risk to seafarers’ health and safety, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has also extended the new measures to a wider range of vessels than just those covered by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Fishing vessels will now also be required to put in place safe systems of work for enclosed space entry.

The regulations come into force for vessels which come under SOLAS on 14 May 2022 while for all others it will apply from 14 May 2023. The dates have been chosen to give the ships for which the regulations are new the time to become compliant.

Katy Ware, director of maritime services said: “We remain committed to protecting the safety of those who spend their lives working at sea. There is a serious risk to seafarers’ health and safety by going into these enclosed spaces, even though it is sometimes a necessary part of their work and we want to do all we can to reduce the risks.

The risks from working in enclosed spaces are well known across the shipping world and all of us know that more needs to be done to reduce the number of fatalities. These regulations will replace and extend current legislation which will go right across the merchant sector.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has also published MGN 659 (M+F) Entry into enclosed spaces, which further explains the requirements of the regulations, as well as publishing leaflets and posters (available free of charge from the webshop) to raise awareness of safe procedures for enclosed space entry.

6. Adventure for charity

The Mission to Seafarers has launched a new adventure race challenge event in Japan, taking place in early 2023. All sponsors and participants in the race will support the Mission’s Emerging
Port Strategy 2022-26, a five year plan to develop existing operations in Asia specifically, but also globally.

The Adventure Race Japan will take place on the Izu Peninsula, Japan, regarded as a place of outstanding natural beauty and a designated UNESCO Global Geopark. The event will see teams of three take on endurance challenges including trail races, team building challenges, and a water-based element.

Designed to suit both those who are relatively new to adventure races and to those hardened athletes who are raring for a new challenge, there will be two race options, the ‘Green Dragon Race’ and the ‘Black Dragon Race’, offering the option to walk or run the trails on the first two days of the challenge. Teams will be asked to raise a minimum of US$5,000 per team, although some teams may aspire to raise more.

The Mission is on call throughout the year, providing help for seafarers in over 200 ports around the world. Seafarers often work in very dangerous situations, experiencing isolation, fatigue, mental and physical health issues, the risk of abandonment, shipwreck, and piracy. During Covid-19 these pre-existing issues have been exacerbated, leading to a critical situation in some cases onboard. All funds raised will go towards The Mission’s frontline work to provide welfare, advocacy, mental health, and family support to these unseen keyworkers of the sea and develop The Mission’s strategy to providing support in areas where it is most needed.

Hear from the President of The Mission to Seafarers, HRH The Princess Royal, about the importance of supporting this cause here.

For more information on The Mission’s Adventure Race Japan, and to sign up, please click here to visit the website.

7. Deprioritising cyber security

A new Kaspersky report – produced in association with leading freight transport insurer TT Club – has revealed that despite a rise in cyber attacks during the supply chain crisis, 16% of UK businesses deprioritised  cyber security last year amid the pandemic, port closures, HGV driver shortages and other challenges associated with Brexit.

Cybercriminals have become ever more sophisticated at exploiting organisational silos, security gaps caused by remote working and the supply chain crisis, to undermine the safety and security of
critical systems. So much so that companies across the UK and Benelux reported a 30% rise in the number of cyber attacks they faced during last year, compared to previous years.

Indeed, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently reported an unprecedented 777 incidents over the last 12 months – up from 723 the previous year. High-profile attacks, such as the SolarWinds attack in 2020, have demonstrated how threat actors can target a vast number of organisations by breaching a single link in a supply chain.

Despite these threats, Kaspersky’s report – titled Supply Chain CyberSecurity – Potential Threats and Rising to the Challenge – found that both enterprises and SMEs are showing a worrying level of complacency when it comes to protecting the resilience of their supply chains. Even though almost three-quarters (72%) of companies state cyber security threats are their number-one concern, only a third (33%) have the necessary internal resources and knowledge to respond to a cyber security incident. And just 35% are certain they have taken every possible step to mitigate third-party risks in their organisation. The findings reveal that companies that deprioritised cyber security did so in favour of other real-time challenges, such as HGV driver shortages and other logistical issues caused by the pandemic.

“At TT Club we are constantly assessing the risk profile of the global supply chain and alerting the industry to our concerns, hence our support of this unique report,” says TT Club’s managing director of  loss prevention Mike Yarwood. “One should not underestimate cyber criminals. They are agile, focused and highly sophisticated, presenting a significant threat to businesses in the global supply chain. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, TT would encourage a re-evaluation of cyber risk policies and urge operators to satisfy themselves that sufficient resource is allocated to addressing this threat. Resilience in the face of cyber risk is critical.”

A supply chain attack targets an organisation by infiltrating or attacking a business that sits in its chain of suppliers. If one of these entities has low cyber security threat protection – or it is avoiding some specific cyber security hygiene protocols – it could become the entry point into a much wider network of suppliers. The risk can vary greatly and adds to a company’s threat surface complexity.

A vulnerability in one organisation can significantly impact somewhere else in the supply chain, whether that is via compromised personal identity or payment credentials. If a supply chain’s weak link is exploited, a business can be brought to its knees. Yet, Kaspersky’s report reveals that just a fifth (20%) of businesses have a third-party risk management solution in place and only 18% of companies have cyber/business resilience insurance.

Commenting on the findings, David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, stated: “The pandemic, Brexit and supply chain crisis have complicated the cyber threat landscape, making it crucial that organisations take steps to defend against evolving threats under new circumstances. Cyber attacks and data breaches can be highly injurious to any business in terms of damage to reputation, costs of remediation, lost business and other expenses. Companies must ensure they only share data with reliable third parties and extend their existing security requirements to suppliers. We urge businesses large and small to scrutinise their suppliers’ credentials as part of the standard due diligence and contracting process, or risk sleepwalking into a cyber security disaster.”

To read Kaspersky’s Supply Chain CyberSecurity – Potential Threats and Rising to the Challenge report in full, click

8. Pilot transfer dangers

Thanks to Miller’s Maritime Newsletter for bringing our attention to recent pilot transfer accidents. Following six separate incidents since November 2017, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority issued a Marine Notice to remind shipowners, operators, masters, crews, recognized organizations, marine pilots and pilotage providers of the obligation to provide safe pilot transfer arrangements.

The notice states that the six incidents occurred when man ropes parted or where their securing point failed. It further states that AMSA regularly receives reports and complaints about non-compliant pilot transfer arrangements. The notice lists and summarizes minimum safety standards for pilot transfer arrangements under international and Australian law.


9. Competition investigation

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) welcomes the news that five competition authorities have created a working group that will meet regularly to develop and share intelligence to detect and investigate suspected anti-competitive behaviour and collusion, using existing international cooperation tools.

BIFA Director General, Robert Keen, says that he hopes the contents of a letter that BIFA sent to the UK Department for Transport in January, which was subsequently forwarded to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), played some role in initiating the investigation that the five competition authorities, including the CMA, have now announced.

The UK’s main trade association for freight forwarding and logistics companies says that its members are extremely concerned that practices undertaken by container shipping lines, as well as easements and exemptions provided to them under competition law, are distorting the operations of the free market to the detriment of international trade. BIFA will be making those points in a meeting that it will be having with the CMA in March.

In particular BIFA members have voiced their concerns about having their contract rates cancelled by container shipping lines forcing them onto the more expensive spot market.  Limiting access to the market is causing the members considerable concern.

Keen states: “We are convinced that the well-documented chaos within the container shipping sector is leading to commercial power becoming increasingly concentrated, resulting in diminished market choice and competition, and distorted market conditions.

“It will be interesting to see if the five competition authorities find that the current supply chain disruptions are a direct result of anti-competitive conduct.

“BIFA members fully accept that a free market economy is open to all, but are increasingly concerned that the activities of the shipping lines, and the exemptions from legislation from which they benefit, are adversely and unfairly affecting their customers, especially freight forwarders and SME businesses.

“The facts speak for themselves. During a period that has seen EU block exemption regulations carried forward into UK law, there has been huge market consolidation.

“The pandemic has highlighted and accelerated this development, which has also contributed to dreadful service levels, and hugely inflated rates, with carriers allocating vessels to the most profitable routes with little regard to the needs of their customers.”

The five competition authorities are joining  organisations, including CLECAT and FIATA, the US Federal Maritime Commission, and the Australian Productivity Commission, in calling for governments  to give careful consideration to evolving business arrangements in the container shipping market to see whether they are in breach of competition law.

10. Training record book

The International Chamber of Shipping has released a new on board training record book designed to be an essential training companion for electro-technical officer cadets and their employers.

The On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) helps shipowners and managers ensure compliance with international regulations and helps ETO cadets understand the training required to develop their skills and competencies. It can also be used by training academies, administrations and insurers as a universal and standard approach to tracking ETO cadet training and career development.

This latest training record book from ICS features:

  • Structured tasks and competencies to meet STCW assessment
  • Additional tasks concerning safety at work and protection of
    the environment; and
  • Examples of written projects cadets can undertake as part of
    their training.

The On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) is priced at £35 and will be officially released in April 2022. Find out more and pre-order your copy from the ICS bookshop.

11. UK freight rate analysis

According to Xeneta, shipping to the UK from the Far East is considerably more expensive than going to the continent.

The proximity of the main UK ports and the main ports in North Europe means that historically freight rates to these areas have been the same; however, this relationship has changed over the past year. In a post-Brexit world, shippers are paying a considerable premium for UK ports compared to North Europe.

Of the three ports under Xeneta’s definition of the main UK ports, the lowest freight rate on both the long and short-term market is for containers going to Felixstowe. At the other end of the scale, London Gateway is by far the most expensive on the long-term market (USD 13400 per FEU) but is still cheaper than Southampton on the spot market, as here rates lie at USD 15800.

Link to analysis:

12.  Pilots are not advisors to masters has published an analysis on the relationship between pilots and masters by Karolina Cirjak, consultant master mariner at KC Maritime Consultancy. The story considers legal issues around accidents while ships were under compulsory pilotage.

For details see

13. Innovation awards

The ICHCA International and TT Club collaboration once more recognised the crucial role played by organisations across the world in constantly searching for better solutions to the challenges of improved safety in the cargo handling industry.  While the three short-listed entries, and particularly the eventual winner Viking, were to be congratulated, the efforts of all the organisations that provided details of their innovations are to be admired.  Their striving for improved safety underlines the need for increased vigilance in the cargo handling and freight transport sector to reduce the loss of life and damage to property while facilitating global trade.

The ceremony was addressed by Heike Deggim, director of the maritime safety division at the International Maritime Organization.   The ceremony also gave an opportunity for each of the three short-listed companies to give a
presentation of their successful safety innovations.  A recording of the whole event will be available shortly on ICHCA and TT’s websites.

Hosting the presentation on behalf of ICHCA was Richard Steele, the association’s CEO.  “The list of innovations from our award entrants is truly exciting,” he said.  “Innovation doesn’t just happen by itself.  All the participants have put in hard work, drive and ambition and I am sure there are many entries not short-listed today that will inspire others in the industry and achieve practical success in reducing accidents.  To that end we will be providing a digest of all the entries in the coming months.”

The winner, Viking’s HydroPen helps address the increasing incidence of fire in containers while onboard ships at sea. The complexity of the cargoes carried and the frequent challenge of accessing the containers makes fighting fires most difficult for the first responders, the  crew.  HydroPen enables such fires to be attended from a safe distance and the judges were particularly impressed by the specific online training that is provided with each unit.

PSA International’s highly commended Video Analytics solution helps with preventing in-terminal collisions of the heavy cargo handling equipment that can be so damaging to both life and cargo, while Cargotec’s innovation deals with the tricky task of container inspections from below; safely identifying any damage to the under-side of containers and ensuring they are clean and free of any invasive pests. TT Club was delighted with the industry response to this, the fourth Innovation in Safety Award.

Managing director loss prevention Mike Yarwood said:  “It is hugely encouraging to have so many entrants seeking to solve a host of challenges from the provision of geo-spatial data and predictive maintenance software to technology that measures local climatic conditions.  The last two years have been incredibly busy and difficult for all concerned and safety issues have arguably increased significantly.  It is good to see that despite these conditions the industry’s commitment to be resilient and increase safety is undiminished.”

Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT’s risk management director commented, “This award was inaugurated to celebrate solutions that have proven to make the industry workplace safer. We find that sharing such ideas openly is core to the Club’s mission to make the industry safer and more secure.”

Bill Brassington, chairman of the ICHCA technical panel was keen to emphasise  consistent efforts to improve safety.  “In recent years the shipping industry has suffered a number of severe fires originating in containers and the TT Club and ICHCA have been campaigning consistently to reduce these life-threatening events,” he highlighted.  

14. Top 100 women in shipping

All about Shipping has announced its top 100 women in shipping listing for the year. The top five are:

Irene Rosberg, Programme Director Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics at Copenhagen Business School, Semiramis Palios, chief executive Diana Shipping, Marina Papaioannou, head of the Maritime Academy Hellas, Maritime Service Centre & Advisory at DNV GL Maritime, Katharina Palmer, global head of sustainability at Lloyd’s Register and Sabrina Chao, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, Hong Kong and President of BIMCO.

For the full listing see:

Notices & Miscellany

Mei Lin Goh
It is with the greatest sadness that WFW informs readers that Mei Lin Goh, the former long-standing head of WFW Singapore and one of Asia’s leading maritime lawyers, has passed away following a battle with cancer. Mei, who joined the firm in September 1998, was loved and respected by all who knew and worked with her and will be hugely missed. Those who knew her are asked to remember Mei and extend thoughts and prayers to her husband Michael and two daughters.

Insurtech launch
Global insurtech provider, Prima Solutions, which enables the digital transformation of re/insurance carriers and brokers announces the opening of a UK office in Minster Court, London EC3, cementing its commitment to the London market and Lloyd’s specialty reinsurers, together with the appointment of Tim Spencer, an experienced market practitioner, as UK & Ireland Director.

Danish office
Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has launched in Denmark with the hire of market leading shipping lawyer, Jens Mathiasen. He has a broad shipping practice with a particular focus on M&A and corporate, ship finance, sale and purchase, shipbuilding, charterparties and contracts, and maritime law. He previously led the shipping, offshore and transportation practice at Danish law firm Gorrissen Federspiel, and joins HFW on 1 March.

This further strengthens HFW’s  shipping and maritime practice, following the arrival of dual-qualified solicitor-Master Mariner Mark Myles in Singapore and senior London partner Paolo Ghirardani, who was head of the global
Marine and International Trade practice at Stephenson Harwood for 15 years. The firm also internally promoted six new shipping partners and legal directors globally in 2021.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions,
new office openings and other important happenings:

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

If Only Life Were Like a Computer….

If you messed up your life, you could press “Alt, Ctrl, Delete”
and start all over!

To get your daily exercise, just click on “run!”

If you needed a break from life, click on “suspend.” Hit “any key”
to continue life when ready. To get even with the neighbours, turn
up the sound blaster.

To “add/remove” someone in your life, click settings and control

To improve your appearance, just adjust the display settings.

If life gets too noisy, turn off the speakers. When you lose your
car keys, click on “find.”

“Help” with the chores is just a click of away.

You wouldn’t need auto insurance. You’d use your emergency boot
diskette to recover from a crash. We could click on “send” and the
kids would go to bed immediately.

To feel like a new person, click on to “refresh.”

Click on “close” to shut up the kids and spouse.

To undo a mistake, click on “back.” Is your wardrobe getting old?
Click “update.”

If you don’t like cleaning the litter box, click on “delete.”

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