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I almost died today.

 

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JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 11, 2013, 8:48 PM
Post #26 of 88 (3579 views)
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Re: [nigel99] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

nigel99 wrote:
Something that Michael Vaughan taught us on the canopy course - if you can see metal on someone's chest-strap it is most likely properly connectedSmile

Think about it and have a look at both correctly and incorrectly routed chest straps - you can see it from across the aircraft - no need to grab anything.
Absolutely right, except for some folks who then backfold their cheststraps to stow the excess. But those would show up as an exposed buckle. It's pretty easy to spot if you take the time to look. Smile


unkulunkulu  (C License)

Jul 12, 2013, 12:44 AM
Post #27 of 88 (3468 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

JohnMitchell wrote:
nigel99 wrote:
Something that Michael Vaughan taught us on the canopy course - if you can see metal on someone's chest-strap it is most likely properly connectedSmile

Think about it and have a look at both correctly and incorrectly routed chest straps - you can see it from across the aircraft - no need to grab anything.
Absolutely right, except for some folks who then backfold their cheststraps to stow the excess. But those would show up as an exposed buckle. It's pretty easy to spot if you take the time to look. Smile
yeah, those ones always make me suspicious and get a couple of seconds to make sure...


Nataly  (C 41225)

Jul 12, 2013, 3:56 AM
Post #28 of 88 (3386 views)
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Re: [wildcard451] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

wildcard451 wrote:
...while a mis-routed chest strap is of concern, this is ridiculously blown up and over-dramatized. Someone caught your gear error prior to even boarding the plane. You did not "almost die".CrazyCrazyCrazy

+1,000,000

I almost died today... I went to cross the street and a car whooshed by at what seemed like 50 mph... At that speed, if it had hit me, I would have turned into yet another statistic... Good thing at the last minute I realised I needed to look both ways before I stepped into the death-trap that people call "a road"...

... Remember people... It *could* happen to you...

Be safe TongueSly


PS: I know, I know... I couldn't help myself!! Do check your chest-strap - it's important. Don't talk about it like it was a near-death experience... It wasn't. On that basis, almost anything could be a near-death experience. Crazy


(This post was edited by Nataly on Jul 12, 2013, 3:59 AM)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 12, 2013, 8:18 AM
Post #29 of 88 (3248 views)
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Re: [Nataly] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

The OP is a good friend of mine and having a great first year in the sport, 300+ jumps. She's also very safety conscious and aware. I'll forgive her touch of hyperbole. I can certainly remember some of my "Holy Crap!" moments.

Now, this one time, no shit, there I was . . . Laugh


Nataly  (C 41225)

Jul 12, 2013, 9:43 AM
Post #30 of 88 (3184 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

JohnMitchell wrote:
The OP is a good friend of mine and having a great first year in the sport, 300+ jumps. She's also very safety conscious and aware. I'll forgive her touch of hyperbole. I can certainly remember some of my "Holy Crap!" moments.

Now, this one time, no shit, there I was . . . Laugh


OK, that actually makes a lot more sense... LaughLaugh Her profile *does* say in the sport 15 years... However it doesn't take a maths genius to figure out that I joined DZ.com in 2004 and I think I haven't changed my profile stats since something like 2005...! BlushBlush

Anyhoo, the OP has now learned 2 valuable lessons:
- 1. Do a proper gear-check
- 2. Use the sentence "I scared myself today" instead of "I almost died today" Tongue


flyingmontana  (D 31509)

Jul 12, 2013, 11:04 AM
Post #31 of 88 (3117 views)
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Re: [Nataly] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Her profile *does* say in the sport 15 years... However it doesn't take a maths genius to figure out that I joined DZ.com in 2004 and I think I haven't changed my profile stats since something like 2005...! BlushBlush

Anyhoo, the OP has now learned 2 valuable lessons:
- 1. Do a proper gear-check
- 2. Use the sentence "I scared myself today" instead of "I almost died today" Tongue

What a drama queen...no wonder her one year in the sport has felt like 15 to her. Every day is an endless series of brushes with death...


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jul 12, 2013, 2:38 PM
Post #32 of 88 (2986 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

JohnMitchell wrote:
Now, this one time, no shit, there I was . . . Laugh

Thought I Was Gonna Die.

In freefall with nothing but a silkworm and a sewing maching...
Tongue

Seriously - To the OP:
Do you have any idea how your chest strap got that way?
I never put it on partway. If I start threading it through the buckle, it goes through correctly. I don't put it partway through and then stop. The same is true for everything on the rig. I don't leave my legs straps loose. If I've got the rig on, it's on right.

Also, you have added "Tug on strap" to your checks to make sure it is on correctly.
Do you think that you checked it visually and didn't notice it was not correct?

And last, the suggestion is to do the "3 Checks of 3s" (3 rings, 3 straps, 3 handles) 3 different times. Putting it on, before boarding the plane, before exit.

Do you follow that? It would mean that you missed it twice, after putting it on and before boarding (you were in the process of boarding when the pilot noticed).
I agree that it's a bit hyperbolic, but I also understand how it can feel when you have a serious scare like that.


ChrisD  (No License)

Jul 12, 2013, 4:38 PM
Post #33 of 88 (2895 views)
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Re: [flyingmontana] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

flyingmontana wrote:
Quote:
Her profile *does* say in the sport 15 years... However it doesn't take a maths genius to figure out that I joined DZ.com in 2004 and I think I haven't changed my profile stats since something like 2005...! BlushBlush

Anyhoo, the OP has now learned 2 valuable lessons:
- 1. Do a proper gear-check
- 2. Use the sentence "I scared myself today" instead of "I almost died today" Tongue

What a drama queen...no wonder her one year in the sport has felt like 15 to her. Every day is an endless series of brushes with death...


Smile Listen : M.M. She is not a drama queen!

BTW Wiz got married the other day! Did you do your tandem (Rating),... or and, with him he's getting a new rig now that he's all fixed up for independent teaching???

Anyways, she has a nice blog and wanted to share her experiences. Your the one that knows how folklore and similar gets started. Me I study communication and knowing you and knowing what you wrote, my things can get out of hand when everyone doesn't know every one else....

This example raises a very delicate issue for those women, that , err,...cripes I can't even say it cause I know I'm going to be misinterpreted,...


Some people need their chest straps more than others because everyone's anatomy is different. Additionally like many have discovered at a meet or such, when on a 5 min call and then that call gets moved to a right now call...finding out something is wrong with your equipment can be a very intense experience. The first time can be a real nightmare producer.

I am glad she had such a great outcome. She will be a much better and safer skydiver because of this, will you?

C

I do love you BTW....Smile


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Jul 12, 2013, 6:46 PM)


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 13, 2013, 1:12 AM
Post #34 of 88 (2787 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for all the responses I received from my last post, "I almost died today". I've received quite a few responses on G+ and Facebook too.

I was heartened to see how many people used this as an opportunity to revaluate their own safety routines. I also received a few other types of responses, and felt it was important to respond to those folks.

http://skysmurf.com/...-your-safety-routine

Safety is not a single event, emergency procedure or safe guard. Safety is a chain of decisions built on the foundation of knowledge and preparation.

And to all the folks who had a good chuckle at my "overdramatized" experience, I've got one question for you - what do you do when you have a serious lapse in your safety procedures?

Do you brush it off like nothing had happened, or do you take an equally serious look at what went wrong and why?


airtwardo  (D License)

Jul 13, 2013, 1:59 AM
Post #35 of 88 (2783 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And to all the folks who had a good chuckle at my "over-dramatized" experience, I've got one question for you - what do you do when you have a serious lapse in your safety procedures?


Good question ~ I'll let you know when I have one. Wink


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 13, 2013, 4:56 AM
Post #36 of 88 (2744 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

We all aspire to your level of skygodness airtwardo ;)


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jul 13, 2013, 7:16 AM
Post #37 of 88 (2701 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
...And to all the folks who had a good chuckle at my "overdramatized" experience, I've got one question for you - what do you do when you have a serious lapse in your safety procedures?

Do you brush it off like nothing had happened, or do you take an equally serious look at what went wrong and why?

When I find myself in a situation like yours, I ask 2 questions.

#1 - How did it happen?

#2 - Why didn't I catch it?

I try to figure out what mistake was made to create the error in the first place.
Was I distracted partway through?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Do I really understand what I'm doing with it?

Then I try to figure out why my safety checks didn't catch it.
Did I get complacent?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Were my checks cursory or did I really check?
Are the checks adequate, or do I need to change them?

I haven't seen you address either of these questions.
All I see is that you are adding "Tug on the chest strap" to your checks.
And I'm not sure that's really going to change much.


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Jul 14, 2013, 11:19 AM
Post #38 of 88 (2536 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
We all aspire to your level of skygodness airtwardo ;)

If by, "skygodness", you mean attention to detail, always being sure of what you're doing, and doing everything to avoid elementary, dipshit mistakes, then it sounds like something we should all aspire to.

Usually, the term is used in a derogatory manner, not to point out someone who is properly careful.

Kevin K.


Nataly  (C 41225)

Jul 14, 2013, 2:32 PM
Post #39 of 88 (2441 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
And to all the folks who had a good chuckle at my "overdramatized" experience, I've got one question for you - what do you do when you have a serious lapse in your safety procedures?

Do you brush it off like nothing had happened, or do you take an equally serious look at what went wrong and why?


I will answer that, since I was one of the people who audibly tutted and rolled my eyes when I read what constitutes as "almost dying" according to you...

I have had my share of moments when I thought "holy shit that was close/stupid/lucky"... I've scared myself a couple of times enough to seriously ask myself what I'm doing in the sport and whether it's "worth it"... I suspect most of us on here have... However, I suspect that most of us would be more cautious about making wildly exaggerated claims like "I nearly died"... Jeb Corliss flying off Table Mountain - he had a brush with death.

Don't get me wrong... It's perfectly ok to think "oh my gosh I could have died". Such a reflection is normal, healthy, and part of your natural survival instincts. What I *don't* like is the attention-grabbing title you chose to describe what is essentially a non-event. I understand it may have been what you *felt* like at the time, but there is a HUGE difference between being scared shitless of a *potential* consequence compared to an *actual* near-death experience. I think some of the people who snickered at your post did so because some very humble people have had REAL brushes with death and have never once felt the need for such outrageous hyperbole. I'll be honest: I was so put-off by the gross exaggeration of that statement that I found it hard to take anything you wrote seriously after such a bad start - I had to force myself to read the rest of your post.

It's like when they described the movie "Open Water" as "nerve-shredding terror"... It wasn't. It was three hours of obnoxious characters being predictably eaten one by one by sharks. I was only at the edge of my seat because I wanted so badly to leave the cinema (but I'm a cheap accountant and by principle I feel the need to watch the entire movie I just paid for no matter how awful it is).

Nevertheless, I will give you this: had you said "I misrouted my chest-strap," most people would never have read your post. (Just like I never would have gone to see a movie about 10 stupid people stranded at sea.)

And finally: just because I have never used the sentence "I nearly died yesterday" does not mean I do not fully realise the implications of similar mistakes I've made. It also doesn't mean I haven't reviewed my mistakes, learned from them, thanked my lucky stars nothing bad or worse happened, and talked/listened to others about what I should have done. I don't believe that not being a drama-queen means you are incapable of self-reflection and just "brush off" your mistakes... I think some people are less prone to making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Does that answer your question?



Ps- I don't know you well enough to simply assume you are a drama-queen... Perhaps you just overstated one thing based on your reaction and/or how scared you felt... However, it was a pretty MASSIVE overstatement... Unimpressed

Pps- Don't just assume that only the positive feedback is worthwhile... If you care about getting your message across, sometimes you have to choose your words carefully. Perhaps you wanted to be provocative. I, personally, was put off by it. But that's just me.


(This post was edited by Nataly on Jul 14, 2013, 2:45 PM)


BKS60  (C 41583)

Jul 14, 2013, 5:42 PM
Post #40 of 88 (2362 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the experienced jumpers, that I highly respect, had a talk with me about chest straps. His thoughts were to always connect your chest strap first when putting on your rig. If that becomes your habit it lessens the chance of misrouting since its the first thing you do.
Since then I've tried to follow that. Also the people I usually jump with make a habit of checking each others equipment both on the ground and in flight and asking for checks of theirs.
Being safe doesn't take any fun away from the sport!


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:16 PM
Post #41 of 88 (2340 views)
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Re: [BKS60] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Great advice BKS60!


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:19 PM
Post #42 of 88 (2336 views)
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Re: [kkeenan] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If by, "skygodness", you mean attention to detail, always being sure of what you're doing, and doing everything to avoid elementary, dipshit mistakes, then it sounds like something we should all aspire to.

chill.... I assumed he was giving me a humorous jab knowing that we've all made mistakes. So replied in kind with a humorous jab.

If he truly believed that he's never made a mistake and that was the answer to safety... well that's a longer discussion.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:28 PM
Post #43 of 88 (2326 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
Quote:
If by, "skygodness", you mean attention to detail, always being sure of what you're doing, and doing everything to avoid elementary, dipshit mistakes, then it sounds like something we should all aspire to.

chill.... I assumed he was giving me a humorous jab knowing that we've all made mistakes. So replied in kind with a humorous jab.

If he truly believed that he's never made a mistake and that was the answer to safety... well that's a longer discussion.




Taken as intended. Wink


Of course I've make a mistake...Angelic

Thought I did something wrong once, but it turns out I was mistaken. Sly


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:37 PM
Post #44 of 88 (2322 views)
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Re: [Nataly] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'll be honest: I was so put-off by the gross exaggeration of that statement that I found it hard to take anything you wrote seriously after such a bad start - I had to force myself to read the rest of your post.

...

Nevertheless, I will give you this: had you said "I misrouted my chest-strap," most people would never have read your post. (Just like I never would have gone to see a movie about 10 stupid people stranded at sea.)

I'm sorry you felt this way about how I chose to express my experience. My goal was not to get into a debate about what qualifies as 'almost dying'. Depending on how close to death you'd like to take it you could argue that anyone with a good canopy above their head by 400ft did not 'almost die'. Or similarly you could say any time you jump out the plane you almost died, but heroically saved your life by deploying at 3,500ft.

My intent was to highlight the dire consequences of my safety mistake in a way that would help those new in the sport to understand the importance of a good safety routine that includes checking for a properly routed chest strap.

Many of the replies I've seen on this thread have undermined the importance of a correctly routed chest strap, and instead focused on how it's possible for it not to result in a fatal injury. For someone just off their A license with 30 jumps this sends the wrong message.


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:43 PM
Post #45 of 88 (2315 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow..... God help you if you ever have a real problem.


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:44 PM
Post #46 of 88 (2312 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:

When I find myself in a situation like yours, I ask 2 questions.

#1 - How did it happen?

#2 - Why didn't I catch it?

I try to figure out what mistake was made to create the error in the first place.
Was I distracted partway through?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Do I really understand what I'm doing with it?

Then I try to figure out why my safety checks didn't catch it.
Did I get complacent?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Were my checks cursory or did I really check?
Are the checks adequate, or do I need to change them?

These are excellent responses to a safety lapse wolfriverjoe.
You mention below, I'd add #3: How can I prevent it in the future? to the list.

Perhaps I could've been more explicit.
I've thought a lot about 1. but I honestly don't know. I wasn't rushed, wasn't distracted. Perhaps tired because it was the 23rd jump in 4 days, but that wouldn't be the first time I've done that many jumps in 4 days. Maybe just a combination of tired, hot, distracted. I'm not really sure. It actually took me a few mins when I got to the ground to figure out how to even misroute a chest strap...

For 2., I looked, but didn't LOOK. Tugging on my chest straps aims to solve this by bringing in a kinetic component to my checks that had been missing before, and in the process make it much more likely that I LOOK.


vanessalh  (D 33301)

Jul 14, 2013, 6:53 PM
Post #47 of 88 (2307 views)
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Re: [Andy_Copland] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy_Copland wrote:
Wow..... God help you if you ever have a real problem.

I'm curious, what would you describe as a real problem?

I feel that this situation was more dire than the malfunction I had, or the time someone didn't track away properly and almost deployed right into me, or the times where quick canopy course corrections are needed after large formation loads, or searching for an alternate landing area after winds changed. But not quite of the caliber of 'AAD fired for any number of reasons', 'canopy collision under 500ft', 'main wrapped around tail of aircraft', which I hope never to experience.


Liemberg  (Student)

Jul 14, 2013, 7:52 PM
Post #48 of 88 (2269 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though it is a good idea to perform a complete check before boarding the aircraft and to board it 'ready to jump', it is an equally good idea to spend another few seconds on jump run to repeat (part of) the proces.

While not everything is always readily accesible in every aircraft (it can get cramped sometimes - see the discussion about the thrilling action packed video of the d-bag falling out of the helicopter elswhere on this site) all your handles (3) and all your straps (3) can and should be touched by YOU before you actually jump out - like when the plane begins its jumprun and you start to leave its comfortable seat or floor.

This realy beats correcting the situation in free fall...

Correcting the situation in freefall - if performed in the wrong manner - can quickly deteriorate into almost or actually dying.


nigel99  (D 1)

Jul 14, 2013, 8:26 PM
Post #49 of 88 (2249 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
wolfriverjoe wrote:

When I find myself in a situation like yours, I ask 2 questions.

#1 - How did it happen?

#2 - Why didn't I catch it?

I try to figure out what mistake was made to create the error in the first place.
Was I distracted partway through?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Do I really understand what I'm doing with it?

Then I try to figure out why my safety checks didn't catch it.
Did I get complacent?
Was I in too much of a hurry?
Were my checks cursory or did I really check?
Are the checks adequate, or do I need to change them?

These are excellent responses to a safety lapse wolfriverjoe.
You mention below, I'd add #3: How can I prevent it in the future? to the list.

Perhaps I could've been more explicit.
I've thought a lot about 1. but I honestly don't know. I wasn't rushed, wasn't distracted. Perhaps tired because it was the 23rd jump in 4 days, but that wouldn't be the first time I've done that many jumps in 4 days. Maybe just a combination of tired, hot, distracted. I'm not really sure. It actually took me a few mins when I got to the ground to figure out how to even misroute a chest strap...

For 2., I looked, but didn't LOOK. Tugging on my chest straps aims to solve this by bringing in a kinetic component to my checks that had been missing before, and in the process make it much more likely that I LOOK.

I disagree that the tug/pull is a solution. All that happens is you lull yourself into a false sense of security and give a half hearted tug without looking - I can pretty much guarantee that you could 'pass' a misrouted chest strap in that case.

The route cause is complacency. For 300 odd times you've looked and it was alright - so your brain filled in the gaps when you looked and you saw what you expected to see. I've been cleared to jump by an instructor with a full twist in my harness that might have prevented me cutting away - another jumper noticed it.

The point ultimately is 'expect' to find a problem, make sure you are devoting conscious effort to the checks and repeat multiple times. I partially agree with those who say have a routine and stick to it - but sooner or later someone is going to interrupt your routine.

It's a real problem and some of us who have thorough routines, lull ourselves into a safe sense of security - all the while feeling smug that we are safer than the average jumper. The sheer fact you don't catch problems 99% of the time, is the problem - you simply don't expect to find one.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Jul 14, 2013, 9:00 PM
Post #50 of 88 (2216 views)
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Re: [vanessalh] I almost died today. [In reply to] Can't Post

vanessalh wrote:
Andy_Copland wrote:
Wow..... God help you if you ever have a real problem.

I'm curious, what would you describe as a real problem?

Riding in half a main with your reserve stuck in it.Wink

I think what we are discussing is the difference between, "I could have died today" as opposed to "I nearly died today." The first involves a screw-up that is caught before the dire consequences come to pass, and the second where consequences happen, but you luck out.

Yeah, it's not a huge thing in the world of human suffering, but it's what we do here......

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