Metal Shark newbuild on transfer duty for Oregon operator

(JEANERETTE, La.) — Metal Shark recently delivered a welded-aluminum 45 Defiant crew boat to Anchorage Launch Services Co., an Oregon-based operator providing launch, line, pilotage and cargo services to vessels […]

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(JEANERETTE, La.) — Metal Shark recently delivered a welded-aluminum 45 Defiant crew boat to Anchorage Launch Services Co., an Oregon-based operator providing launch, line, pilotage and cargo services to vessels on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

Designed in-house by the Metal Shark engineering team and built at the company’s Jeanerette, La., production facility, the 47-by-12-foot, twin-diesel waterjet-powered Triumph VII is now in service.

“Our captains, crew and passengers have all been very impressed with the capabilities of our new vessel,” said Alex Scott, chief operating officer at Anchorage Launch. “With an extra emphasis on safety, performance and passenger accommodations, it is clear that Metal Shark paid close attention to the details. The bar has been raised, and our local market is busy taking notes.”

Metal Shark photo

The Metal Shark 45 Defiant pairs a proven hull form with a modern, crew-friendly, mission-optimized arrangement. Built for Anchorage Launch in a bespoke crew boat/pilot boat configuration, the vessel features flat, non-skid decks that run from bow to stern to facilitate quick and secure crew and passenger movement around the vessel.

A rugged fendering system absorbs impacts, a bow push knee adds utility, and an integrated swim platform with dive ladder and removable aft-deck davit aid in dive and rescue operations. Safety rails and grab handles have been placed throughout the craft, and a rooftop boarding platform has been configured to suit the client’s requirements.

Triumph VII features an innovative pilothouse that includes Metal Shark’s signature “pillarless glass,” with a reverse-raked windshield that significantly reduces blind spots. A skylight array provides an unobstructed upward view while operating alongside ships during crew or supply transfer.

The vessel’s climate-controlled cabin has been appointed with UES G-Force high-backed seating for eight, accommodating a two-person crew plus six passengers. A full electronics suite includes multiple Furuno multifunction displays with integrated GPS, radar, depth sounder, a FLIR thermal imaging system, and Icom VHF radios.

Below deck, crew accommodations include an enclosed head compartment with freshwater sink, a dinette and galley with compact refrigerator and microwave. Acoustic insulation and flooring are employed throughout the vessel to reduce noise and vibration.

To meet the client’s performance requirements, Metal Shark equipped Triumph VII with twin 705-horsepower Cummins QSM11 marine diesel inboard engines mated to HamiltonJet HJ-364 waterjets via Twin Disc gears. This combination delivers a cruise speed in the 30-knot range and a top speed approaching 40 knots. A 500-gallon fuel capacity allows for a cruise speed range in excess of 300 nautical miles. Electrical current is supplied via a 9-kW Kohler diesel generator.

– Metal Shark

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Index reflects year of recovery for seafarer happiness

(LONDON) — The latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, published Tuesday by The Mission to Seafarers, reveals average seafarer happiness in the last quarter of 2022 reached 7.69/10, up from 7.3 […]

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(LONDON) — The latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, published Tuesday by The Mission to Seafarers, reveals average seafarer happiness in the last quarter of 2022 reached 7.69/10, up from 7.3 with levels rising across almost all categories, reflecting the sustained upward trend seen throughout the year.

The results of the survey show that even the historically most problematic areas, such as shore leave and access to welfare ashore, are recovering. Crewmembers continued to express their relief at the return of freedom of movement, as well as their increased sense of certainty and stability. The survey was undertaken with the support of the Standard Club and Idwal.

The only area in which there was a decline in satisfaction was connectivity. Quality and cost are still concerns and there is a growing demand for free or inexpensive access as enjoyed by colleagues ashore. Many seafarers believe such access would improve social life at sea with responses like: “We gathered to watch live World Cup football and the atmosphere on board was fantastic.”

It was also noticeable that a significant number of seafarers appeared to have switched employer or trading patterns to be closer to home in case of travel restrictions. In addition, there was a growing number of responses from seafarers from non-traditional maritime labor markets, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

A year in review – from low to high

In 2022, seafarers’ happiness has steadily increased from its lowest point in Q1 2022 to something of a high-water mark at the end of the year. Q1 2022 saw the lowest level ever recorded with an overall average of 5.85, reflecting the negative impact of the COVID pandemic on seafarers. Other issues such as conflict and contracts also contributed to the low morale and deflated mood among seafarers. Many seafarers felt that their welfare was not being properly addressed and that their work conditions were becoming increasingly difficult.

However, in Q2 2022, there was a significant increase in satisfaction levels, rising from 5.85 to 7.21/10. This was encouraging as it suggested that the worst may be behind us, and as the world began to reopen, this had a positive impact on seafarer sentiment. Additionally, when seafarers were more certain about their return time, they were able to deal more effectively with difficulties at sea.

Q3 2022 saw further improvement, with the overall average climbing to 7.3/10. This was due to improvements in shore leave, access to welfare facilities and initiatives, as well as companies investing in their people on board. These actions made life better at sea, and the sentiment expressed by seafarers reflected this.

Life on board – workload, social cohesion and training

Although the Seafarers Happiness Index data shows progress, there are still persistent issues that need to be addressed such as workload, mental health impacts, and the stresses of a difficult job. There are also concerns about the negative impact on mental health and well-being of too few people aboard ships. The industry is taking steps toward change, with initiatives such as the Sustainable Shipping Initiative Code of Conduct, which aims to go beyond the minimum standards of compliance.

Despite the negative impact of COVID-19 and tensions between Russian and Ukrainian seafarers, there have been clear signs of recovery throughout the year and onboard interactions are once again the most important factor in seafarer satisfaction. However, there are still concerns about isolation among seafarers and a lack of social cohesion on board.

Training for seafarers has improved over the years, but there are mixed responses from seafarers about its effectiveness. To improve, training should be incorporated into the shipboard schedule and not viewed as a chore. Concerns were also raised over the lack of communication and involvement of seafarers in discussions and plans for future fuels training.

By the end of the year, the satisfaction of seafarers had reached a high point, and the sentiment among seafarers had significantly improved. This has raised expectations that the systems supporting seafarer welfare will continue to deliver improvements into 2023.

The Idwal grade

Since Q2 2022, Idwal, a global leader in vessel inspections and one of the lead sponsors of the Seafarers Happiness Index, has been exploring the welfare conditions of seafarers. As part of this approach, it introduced a new inspection method of 12 objective-based questions.

The results of these inspections show a clear correlation between the overall condition of the vessel and crew welfare conditions on board. Further analysis of different vessel types, classification societies and flag states also support this trend. This highlights the importance of the vessel standard in improving seafarer welfare and the positive symbiotic relationship between seafarer happiness and enhanced welfare standards.

“We were pleased and relieved to see increased happiness levels on board throughout the year, and our reports show significant positive progress,” said Ben Bailey, program director at The Mission to Seafarers. “While there remain complexities and challenges in the industry, The Mission to Seafarers continues to highlight the importance of fair treatment, reasonable pay, compassion and understanding in fostering a positive outlook for seafarers.

“However, there are still complex issues that need to be addressed such as abandonment, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, and arbitrary decisions about immigration. We will continue to work closely with shipping companies and managers ashore to shape positive change and to hear more stories and experiences from seafarers through our surveys. We are also mindful of a potential recruitment and retention crisis in 2023 if the trend of seafarers moving from deep sea to short-sea or inland waterways continues.”

To read the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, click here.

– The Mission to Seafarers

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Crowley Engineering Services achieves ISO 9001:2015 certification

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) ­— Crowley Engineering Services (CES) has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recognizing the business group’s capabilities. Widely considered as the worldwide standard […]

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(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) ­— Crowley Engineering Services (CES) has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recognizing the business group’s capabilities.

Widely considered as the worldwide standard for quality management systems and practices, the ISO 9001:2015 certification, audited by Platinum Registration, reinforces Crowley Engineering Services’ process and management system as efficient, repeatable and robust.

Crowley photo

The ISO certification applies to Crowley’s traditional maritime solutions or novel development for low- and zero-emissions vessel design, offshore wind or other civil and marine projects.

“This is an important milestone for not only CES, but also our customers,” said Coulston Van Gundy, vice president, Crowley Engineering Services. “Our team worked hard with Platinum Registration’s auditors to demonstrate that we meet the requirements of the standard. Implementing management procedures in accordance with the high standards of ISO allows us to further solidify our position as a leader in the maritime industry and give our customers the confidence that they’ve partnered with one of the best in the business.”

Crowley Engineering Services provides vessel design and engineering, waterfront civil engineering, digital solutions, program and construction management, and research and development. The group is responsible for completing the design and construction management of the company’s eWolf, the first fully electric U.S. tugboat, currently under construction, as well as other low-emission vessel designs.

– Crowley

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Bulker’s lodging quarters ‘uninhabitable’ after Portland fire

(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is supporting Portland Fire & Rescue and other responding agencies after the 623-foot bulk carrier Breeze caught fire Tuesday while moored at the […]

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(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is supporting Portland Fire & Rescue and other responding agencies after the 623-foot bulk carrier Breeze caught fire Tuesday while moored at the Temco LLC facility on the Willamette River.

The Coast Guard was notified of the fire at 3:10 p.m. and contacted Portland 911 dispatchers, who were already aware and had begun directing a response. Fire department crews worked with vessel crewmembers to extinguish the fire prior to Coast Guard personnel’s arrival on scene.

Portland Fire & Rescue photo via Twitter

Lodging quarters have been deemed uninhabitable as a result of the fire and these areas have been evacuated.

Coast Guard personnel with Sector Columbia River Incident Management Division and Marine Inspections have reported no observable marine pollution nor threat to the immediate marine environment.

The Coast Guard is working with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to arrange secure accommodations for the displaced vessel crew to temporarily reside ashore. Living quarters aboard the vessel must be deemed habitable by a qualified, certified inspector prior to the crew’s return.

Coast Guard marine inspectors, Liberian flag representatives and vessel class-specific technical inspectors will work to ensure the vessel is safe for operation and does not pose a risk to the crew, environment nor navigable waterways before it will be authorized to get underway.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the incident.

Watch standers will conduct roving patrols aboard the ship to ensure safety and security of the vessel and adjacent area.

The Coast Guard commended Portland Fire & Rescue and other local first responders for their efficient and professional response extinguishing the shipboard fire.

– U.S. Coast Guard

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Coast Guard pursues maximum fine for AIS deactivation

(ASTORIA, Ore.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing a civil penalty against a commercial fishing vessel for violating automatic identification system (AIS) regulations near the mouth of the Columbia […]

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(ASTORIA, Ore.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing a civil penalty against a commercial fishing vessel for violating automatic identification system (AIS) regulations near the mouth of the Columbia River on Dec. 3.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River detected a commercial fishing vessel deactivating its AIS while underway near the mouth of the river in violation of 33 Code of Federal Regulations 164.46(d)(2).

The captain declined to accept the notice of violation, issued for $5,000. Now the case has been referred to a Coast Guard hearing officer, with a maximum penalty of $41,093.

As this remains an active investigation, the Coast Guard is not currently releasing the name of the suspected violating vessel.

AIS is a maritime navigation safety communications system adopted by the international community to help save lives and facilitate safe transit of navigable waterways. AIS automatically transmits vessel information to shore stations, other ships and aircraft. That includes vessel identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and safety-related information.

“AIS is essential for safe navigation and bolsters America’s security posture, beyond the requirements of the law, AIS helps keep mariners safe and our ports secure,” said Lt. Cmdr. Colin Fogarty, the enforcement chief for Sector Columbia River. “Particularly during crab season, weather and visibility are poor on the Oregon and Washington coasts. AIS permits vessels to show their location and avoid collisions. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard often sees mariners turning off their AIS during certain fishing seasons. Regardless of their reasons, the laws and regulations require the system be functioning and energized.”

The regulation (33 CFR 164.46) in part states that all self-propelled vessels, at a length of 65 feet or more, engaged in commercial service and operating on the territorial seas (within 12 nautical miles of shore) must maintain AIS in effective operating condition, which includes the continual operation of AIS and its associated devices (e.g., positioning system, gyro, converters, displays) at all times while the vessel is underway or at anchor, and, if moored, at least 15 minutes prior to getting underway, with limited exceptions.

Effective operation condition also includes the accurate input and upkeep of all AIS data fields. An AIS encoding guide has been provided to facilitate complying with this requirement.

“For safety and security, the Coast Guard is constantly monitoring vessels offshore in our waterways,” Fogarty said. “When we detect a vessel not following AIS requirements, we will pursue enforcement action. Five thousand dollars is a significant fine to pay for a secret crabbing spot, but it’s still cheaper than the safety of the crew. Our hope is that this instance will deter future violations throughout the community.”

– U.S. Coast Guard

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U.S. awards $384 million to modernize nation’s ferries

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Thursday announced $384.4 million in federal funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for expanding and improving the […]

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(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Thursday announced $384.4 million in federal funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for expanding and improving the nation’s ferry service in communities across the country, as well as accelerating the transition to zero-emission transportation.

This funding will benefit millions of Americans – from Alaska to Michigan to Maryland – who depend on coastal waters, rivers, bays and other bodies of water to connect to their communities.

In total, FTA is awarding 23 grants across 11 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grants will fund projects including replacement of old vessels, expanding fleets and building new terminals and docks. For the state of Alaska, the award means nearly $286 million of investment in the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves remote locations throughout the state.

Alaska Marine Highway System photo

Nearly $100 million of the national grants will go toward low- and no-emission ferries, helping decrease greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. See the full list of grants here.

“With these grants, we are improving and expanding ferry service in the communities that rely on waterways the most — often in more rural, remote regions — connecting people to jobs, services and city centers while cutting climate pollution,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The funding, made available through three FTA competitive grant programs, will boost ferry service in rural areas, modernize urban ferry systems and lower emissions by speeding adoption of zero-emission technology.

FTA’s Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program provides competitive funding to states for ferry service in rural areas. FTA is awarding $252.4 million to eight projects in four states.

FTA’s Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program provides competitive funding for electric or low-emitting ferries and charging equipment that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative fuels or on-board energy storage systems. FTA is awarding $97.6 million to seven projects in seven states.

FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program supports capital projects to establish new ferry service, and repair and modernize ferry vessels, terminals, and facilities and equipment in urbanized areas. FTA is awarding $34.4 million to eight projects in six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“(This) announcement represents a record amount of support for transit ferries in our country,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “And thanks to the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for the first time ever, we are able to provide competitive grant funds for passenger ferry service in rural areas and help ferry operators reduce their climate impact.”

Among the projects:

• The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, which is receiving six grants for nearly $286 million, will build passenger ferries to replace or modernize older vessels and make critical dock upgrades in several communities. The grants will improve the condition and quality of the Alaska Marine Highway System, which runs 3,500 miles and serves 35 communities, particularly for people in remote locations with high transportation costs.

• The Maine Department of Transportation will receive $28 million through the Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program to build a hybrid-electric vessel to replace a 35-year-old vessel that has exceeded its useful life. The new hybrid-electric vessel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote environmental sustainability for the roughly 600 residents of the island of Islesboro, a rural community in upper Penobscot Bay that relies on passenger ferry service.

• The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will receive $6.6 million through the Passenger Ferry Grant Program to modernize the Hingham Ferry dock to improve safety and accessibility and ensure it stays in a state of good repair. MBTA will stabilize the ferry dock, reconstruct walkways, upgrade lighting, safety and security systems and facilitate backup power, allowing for an increase in ferry capacity, operational flexibility and resiliency.

Projects were selected for funding based on criteria described in the notice of funding of opportunity. In response to the notice, FTA received 47 eligible applications in 16 states and one territory, totaling nearly $602 million in requests.

– Federal Transit Administration

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NTSB: Mate’s fatigue on watch led OSV to strike platform

​(WASHINGTON) — A company not adhering to its 12-hour work limit led to an offshore supply vessel (OSV) striking an oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, […]

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​(WASHINGTON) — A company not adhering to its 12-hour work limit led to an offshore supply vessel (OSV) striking an oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Thursday.

The offshore supply vessel Elliot Cheramie was on its normal route between Port Fourchon, La., and the oil and gas production platform VR-397A in the gulf on June 25, 2021​, with a crew of four and five offshore workers. While transiting, Elliot Cheramie struck the oil and gas production platform EI-259A. The contact resulted in four minor injuries and over $360,000 in damage to the vessel, platform and pipelines.

​​Elliot Cheramie’s mate and deck hand were assigned the overnight watch (midnight to noon) in the wheelhouse. The mate was steering the vessel in autopilot mode following the GPS track.

Elliot Cheramie underway, left, before the casualty, and platform EI-259A before the impact. Cheramie Marine and Cox Operating photos

The mate told investigators that he was “more tired than usual” and felt “groggy.” He stated he must have fallen asleep and when he woke up the platform was “dead ahead.” He attempted to avoid it, but the vessel struck the platform.

In the four days leading up to the contact, the Elliot Cheramie mate consistently worked for periods longer than the 12 hours recommended by the company’s fatigue management document. The day before the contact, the mate reported working for 17 hours with a portion of the work requiring high levels of physical exertion.

Although the deck hand set an alarm to wake himself for the watch, he slept through it and was not present in the wheelhouse at the time of contact. The deck hand’s duties would have included assisting the mate on the bridge navigation watch; however, other duties would have taken him away from the wheelhouse for extended periods of time.

The company’s safety management system recommended crewmembers be given at least 24 hours of notice before beginning night work, but the deck hand was assigned the watch when he arrived on board, only five hours before.

Based on the work and rest histories of the mate, the requirement in the company’s vessel operating procedures that licensed personnel “may not work for more than 12 hours in a consecutive 24-hour period” was not followed.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the contact was the company not adhering to its 12-hour work limit policy, which led to the fatigued mate falling asleep while on watch.

“In this casualty, and as the NTSB has previously noted in numerous commercial vessel casualties, crew fatigue was a significant causal and contributing factor,” the report said. “Company operational policies and requirements should incorporate and follow fatigue management best practices to ensure that crewmembers receive enough rest to adequately perform navigational, lookout, engineering, and other watch-stander duties. Additionally, companies should ensure that vessels are crewed with the appropriate number of trained personnel to safely perform operations without compromising work/rest schedules of off-duty watch standers. Companies and vessel captains should also actively monitor the watch schedules and any off-watch work performed by their crews to ensure that fatigue mitigation policies are adhered to, adjusting watch schedules accordingly for crewmembers at risk for fatigue.”

Marine Investigation Report 23-01 is available here. ​

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, call (844) 373-9922 or (202) 314-6290 to speak to a watch officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, D.C. (24/7).

– National Transportation Safety Board

​​​

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Man dies in fall aboard boxship in Port of Los Angeles

(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) — A man died after falling about 50 feet from the superstructure of a containership Wednesday afternoon at the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Fire […]

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(SAN PEDRO, Calif.) — A man died after falling about 50 feet from the superstructure of a containership Wednesday afternoon at the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

Fire department personnel responded to South Navy Way on Terminal Island at about 4:45 p.m. When they arrived on the scene, they found that the victim had been fatally injured when striking containers on the ship’s deck.

“Firefighters/paramedics initiated resuscitative measures, but sadly, the man was beyond medical help,” the fire department said on its website. “Crews determined him to be dead on scene. The details surrounding the event are currently unclear.”

The Los Angeles Port Police will be investigating the incident and the U.S. Coast Guard has been notified. The name of the ship was not disclosed.

Port of Los Angeles photo

 

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U.S.-built riverboat heading west for California cruises

(GUILFORD, Conn.) — American Cruise Lines’ American Jazz, one of the company’s 10 new riverboats, is repositioning from the Mississippi River to the West Coast for new California river cruises […]

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(GUILFORD, Conn.) — American Cruise Lines’ American Jazz, one of the company’s 10 new riverboats, is repositioning from the Mississippi River to the West Coast for new California river cruises beginning in February, the first of their kind since the 1940s.

Already underway along the journey from the Mississippi River to San Francisco Bay, American Jazz is expected to transit the Panama Canal in the coming days. American Jazz’s repositioning voyage is following a similar route to the historic U.S. mail ships of the Gold Rush era that carried passengers, mail and gold between the East and West coasts.

American Cruise Lines photo

The nautical team aboard is supported each day of the voyage by the company’s shoreside operations team. Throughout the journey, American’s crew and the shoreside team closely monitor vessel systems, weather forecasts and voyage progress.

American Jazz’s arrival to San Francisco Bay heralds a historic development in U.S. river cruising, as it is the first U.S.-built riverboat to offer overnight cruises throughout the bay and California Delta in over 80 years. American Jazz will embark along the line’s first eight-day San Francisco Bay cruise on Feb. 24. The new river cruises will sail San Francisco Bay and wine country, cruising the Napa River, Sacramento River and San Joaquin River.

“Exploring San Francisco Bay and the California Delta by U.S. riverboat is a momentous occasion for domestic river cruising and another first for American Cruise Lines. We are proud to provide this new opportunity for our guests to experience the joys of cruising close to home, as they discover yet another beautiful area of the country by riverboat,” said Charles Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines. “American continues to expand the possibilities for exceptional domestic small ship cruises by introducing brand new U.S.-flagged riverboats and small cruise ships each year.”

– American Cruise Lines

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