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  1. Absolutely agree Kelvin, and thanks again for bringing this to the public’s attention.

    For Basslink to quote ‘force majeure’ in relation to the cause of the damaged cable is a complete nonsense.

    They may be right to claim force majuere relative to their inability to meet contracted obligations but that is not what Basslink are saying.

    It’s an insult to anyone’s intelligence and it’s unacceptable as a ‘stable view’.

    Who are these peanuts ?

    A force majeure is not a physical force that causes a cable to fail.

    It’s a ‘claimed’ reason behind a commercial consequence that arises after eg, a cable fails.

    This has the odorous stench of Basslink’s legal opinion trying to be too clever.

    My primary and only suspect is the operator Basslink, in this ongoing debacle.

    Posted by Mjf  on  11/07/18  at  12:55 PM
  2. Yes Kelvin, the only reason that I can see for Basslink claiming a force majeure is that it can claim insurance.

    The Tasmanian government may have some liability for ship damage too. I am not a shipping expert, but one would assume that there would be an exclusion zone around the cable. From memory there was a clause in Basslink’s deal that stated that if a ship damaged the cable and told them straight away then that the shipping company would not be held liable. Seems odd doesn’t it?

    I am with you on the probable cause, but with a government which bows down to the Secret Squirrel on every occasion, we will never know.

    Posted by Pete Godfrey  on  11/07/18  at  03:13 PM
  3. Where to start with this?

    It saddens me TT appears to be descending into a Star Chamber.

    I’m no fan of the Geelong Star or super trawlers, However, why do its operators need to adduce evidence to show they are innocent of your charge?

    Those making the allegation need to provide facts, otherwise known as evidence, to support their case. That’s how our system works - and for good reason. Hearsay and gossip don’t suffice for reasoned argument or evidence to support the charge.

    The absence of these things in the article vitiate the argument to the point where it starts to resemble those made by people whilst wearing tin foil hats.

    Posted by Cleaver  on  11/07/18  at  04:52 PM
  4. Re #4… So anyone who sees material evidence that indicates that a crime may have taken place should just shut up about it and mind their own business?

    Where, exactly, was the hearsay and the gossip?

    What has been raised are reasonable questions that can legitimately be asked by the investigator, and the party concerned can supply the data that will clear that party of involvement, if they do indeed have that data, and they are required by law to have that data in the form of a ship’s log.

    Kelvin Jones has demonstrated the means .. a flying door attachment to a net, and motive .. the need to confirm that net modifications were operating as predicted. What remains in question was the opportunity, in the form of the presence of the vessel in the vicinity of the cable, at the time the cable failed.

    The ship’s logs should resolve that issue very quickly, one way or the other. I expect the insurer’s investigator will want to be looking at those logs.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  11/07/18  at  06:14 PM
  5. My argument: Basslink claim is illogical.

    The definition of ‘force majeure’ is unknown force. When you have a known force that could have damaged the cable then you cannot claim unknown until you have eliminated the known, even if the known will not cooperate with eliminating itself.

    That known potential force still existed at the time of damage. Therefore, if the insurance contract said force majeure, then Basslink is not entitled to an insurance payout until Geelong Star is positively eliminated from enquiries.

    #3 ... I have to agree with #4. I have followed a standard investigation protocol.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  11/07/18  at  07:25 PM
  6. So, the Geelong Star is a ‘major suspect’ because some unnamed people with unknown ‘collective expertise’ talking at an unknown ‘social event’ think it should be.

    There is also a big difference between the operators of Basslink seeking to implicate the Geelong Star versus the operators of the Geelong Star needing to show their innocence. The article appears to take the latter position.

    Perhaps if these ‘experts’ had names attributed to them people could form a view if they actually are experts or possess any first hand knowledge of the actual incident.

    Where is the evidence or research that shows physical damage to the cable, as opposed to heat damage? Or, an overlay of the cable’s known position and point of failure - the cable is marked on navigation charts from memory and the point of failure is on the public record.

    Then possibly overlay the estimated track of the Geelong Star - I appreciate that her transponder was turned off. Then possibly, if there is a temoral and geographical proximity of the two events, there might be something worth looking at more seriously.

    What was this ‘social event’? Was it a get together of the Hydro Board or was it supporters of Tasmanian Times getting on the sauce at Grape? One scenario obviously carries more weight than the other.

    Lastly, what exactly is ‘standard investigation protocol?’ I don’t see much actual investigating as there is no primary source material, no first hand accounts and no actual expert opinion.

    In the absence of any of that, all this is just hearsay and conjecture, or worse still ‘Fake News.’

    Posted by Cleaver  on  12/07/18  at  09:11 AM
  7. #5 ... I should add that it is possible that insurance paid Basslink under another clause. However, that would not alter the argument based on eliminating the physical before considering hypothetical and abstract.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  12/07/18  at  10:02 AM
  8. I agree with ‘Cleaver’.

    Posted by Jon Sumby  on  12/07/18  at  03:48 PM
  9. When I heard of the Basslink failure I immediately pondered on the possibility of the cable being trawled up by the Geelong Star.

    It was one hell of a coincidence that the trawler was out there nearby.

    Personally I think the transmission operators cooked the cable.

    So I have to agree with Cleaver’s take on it.

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  12/07/18  at  04:53 PM
  10. re #6,

    If it is reasonable for Cleaver to demand the identity of Kelvin’s “experts”, perhaps it is equally reasonable for Cleaver to reveal his own identity and his relationships, if any, with the operators of the Geelong Star.

    re #9
    If the operators cooked the cable to the point that it popped by overloading it a replacement of a single section at considerable expense would be a complete waste of time as the entire length of the cable could reasonably be regarded as equally damaged. Sorry Ted, but the fault needs another explanation that involves a unique incident relating to the specific part of the cable where the fault was located.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  12/07/18  at  06:12 PM
  11. Ted, would the Basslink transmission operators have the authority to over-ride the design engineers’ specifications?

    Posted by Peter Bright  on  12/07/18  at  06:42 PM
  12. #10 ... My understanding is that the cable wasn’t designed to run such a high load in one direction for a prolonged period of time.

    Pushing all the electrons constantly one way is apparently not a good practice for the conduction material. But I don’t claim any expertise in this matter!

    #11 - I can’t answer a question to which I don’t know the answer.

    It’s probable that we will never hear the truth of the matter.

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  12/07/18  at  07:28 PM
  13. I agree with Warriner, and found the ‘saddened by descent into starchamber’ diatribe typical of anonymous rubbishers that frequent this fine online publication.

    ‘I’m no fan of the Geelong Star or super trawlers, However, why do its operators need to adduce evidence to show they are innocent of your charge?’

    Cleaver, they were in the area while testing gear.  They may have been tight lipped on locations, which may be all the Greens’ fault, yet somewhat convenient if you were smuggling drugs, or if you damaged a cable.

    I’d say as ‘most likely cause’, given the scenarios and secrecy, that the super-trawler still has several cases to answer.

    Posted by spikey  on  12/07/18  at  08:15 PM
  14. #****    Gentlemen, I think you are being shifted by Cleaver from a legal focus to a technical one.

    Perhaps I’ll offer a short second article in a few days to explain.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  13/07/18  at  06:11 AM
  15. “saddened by descent into star chamber diatribe typical of anonymous rubbishers that frequent this fine online publication’’ is right out of the pages of the Book of Weasel Words - required reading for bureaucrats, MBAs and those who don’t like the idea of public accountability when it impacts upon their fiefdoms and authority.

    That ‘saddens’ me.

    Posted by Jack  on  13/07/18  at  06:32 AM
  16. Ted, you say that “Pushing all the electrons constantly one way is apparently not a good practice for the conduction material. But I don’t claim any expertise in this matter!”

    Source, please. As you say, you don’t have the expertise .. so I am curious to know who you are quoting.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  13/07/18  at  08:03 AM
  17. #14 ... “Perhaps I’ll offer a short second article in a few days to explain.”—or not?

    Posted by TGC  on  13/07/18  at  09:09 AM
  18. #****  I have commented in another thread about 6 weeks ago about commentators who deliberately introduce controversial, divergent material into threads.

    They have a common pattern, or at least when the subject comments cuts close to some entity’s bone.
    They come in quickly, with a distracting irrelevant line which is obnoxious, sometimes very much so.
    They then to raise points which skim the point but also have a divisive meaning.
    They question the person, both writers and commentators, in a systematicly negative manner.
    They aim is to rapidly dissolve the thread into meaningless side issues, or to cut it dead.
    They, of course, do not divulge their true credentials.
    They can also create a second (or more) commentators to aid and abet the primary disrupter, and have if necessary complimentary contributions throughout the thread.
    They are part of a huge and growing worldwide web writing workforce to defend entities from unwelcome criticism.
    Does someone who entered this thread fit this pattern?
    Judging by the quick reaction made by a commentators on this thread, my article has cut some entity, or entities, to the bone.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  13/07/18  at  10:50 AM
  19. As this is currently a civil matter, and TT is not a court, we all can speculate, on the balance of probabilities, whether the Tas Govt and Geelong Star are both withholding evidence for a common and perfectly legitimate and moral purpose, even if for the first time.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john hayward  on  13/07/18  at  02:52 PM
  20. To throw some more speculation into the fire, it was also suggested some time back on TT that the cable arced out at a single point due to a lightning strike hitting the cable on land, which ending up earthing out at sea.

    Possible? who knows? But this theory like all others hasn’t been disproven!

    Somebody out there probably knows the real cause of the cable failure, but is keeping the lid on it for a number of reasons.

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  13/07/18  at  09:10 PM
  21. The idea that members of the public can only challenge suspicious official stories about public events by presenting ‘evidence’,  and otherwise acting as if they had some power and money is simply ridiculous.

    Surely Tas Times is an informal ‘pipe’ for speculation and challenge, not a ‘Star Chamber’ or an official commission. Such arguments typify the clouds of white noise pumped out by the likes of the government media office when writers expose a nerve or two.

    Posted by Soapy Dodd  on  13/07/18  at  09:49 PM
  22. Re #20 ... Ted, lightning strikes and other externally generated voltage spikes do not typically tend to do their damage kilometres from the point where they enter the system. Your are not suggesting the lightning penetrated below the sea surface and hit the cable at the point of failure, are you?

    Re #21 ... This is precisely why I challenged Cleaver’s identity. The scenario presented is a reasonable summation of the evidence, and could be easily dispensed with by checking the ship’s log. That it has not been is interesting, and Cleaver’s silly tirade only makes it more so.

    For me, the damage on the wire roving of the cable is not sufficient on its own to indicate a strike from a steel object unless it was a corner of the plate. I would have expected to see the wires either side of the broken wire showing some slight bending from the impact.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  14/07/18  at  07:38 AM
  23. #22 ... Simon, I wouldn’t claim that the lightning theory is the strongest one going around, only that it’s just another of the many that have been thrown up.

    I only support Cleaver’s view, which goes along the lines of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. With such secrecy around the Geelong Star’s activities we may never know the truth, but if I was an insurer to Basslink I’d want to see the trawler’s ship log disclosed!

    As for my comment regarding electrons constantly moving at high load in one direction .. that came from a discussion I had with friends some time ago. It might not be just another crackpot theory if you understand the ‘Heisenburg uncertainty principle’ of the problems in moving electrons forward.

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  14/07/18  at  09:27 AM
  24. #19… Your comment is at the heart of my article, perhaps in an inverse way.

    If, and it must always remembered if, Geelong Star did damage the cable. Then the legal and liabilities, including insurance outcomes would be very different from those which now exist, probably far simpler.

    If current legal stances of Basslink and the Tasmanian Government which are essentially abstract went to civil court and one or both parties knew that Geelong Star damaged the cable ... then there could be a case of attempting or conspiring to pervert the course of justice and possibly fraud against insurance companies. Which are criminal offences.

    #20 &22;.  Lightning and other extraneous theories are currently irrelevant in the context of my article. The Tasmanian Government has made made a stance that over-driving the cable-based computer modelling caused the problem. My article is about the legal viability of such a model against circumstantial evidence that the trawler Geelong Star may be responsible. Which is not theoreticly.

    In effect the Tasmanian Government discounted lightning and other causes - including Geelong Star.

    I am only bringing in Geelong Star to challenge the Tasmanian Govt stance. This is based on it as being statistically the most likely cause of damage. And it can be eliminated if its position at the time of cable failure is made known.

    Simple.

    It can be an offence to damage the cable under Australian Maritime law.

    Hence that is why I called the Geelong Star “an inconvenient truth”.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  14/07/18  at  01:03 PM
  25. The most likely scenario to me, having worked in power cable installation and repair for a number of years, is that the cable was stressed at some point during installation. This caused a vulnerable weakness in the cable which eventually failed.

    ‘No evidence has been forthcoming that the Geelong Star can be eliminated from the possibility of having damaged the cable’ .. but this is like saying ‘guilty until proven innocent’.

    There is also no evidence that the failure was caused by little green spacemen, so should we write an article on that too?

    Remember people, these ‘journalists’ earn a living from their writing.

    Posted by ROVDO  on  14/07/18  at  04:56 PM
  26. Given the preponderance of shady State government dealings and this must include this State’s GBE’s
    and the volume of Commercial in Confidence tarpaulins immediately placed over and around an issue that could create a serious amount of contention, is a regular means employed by this State’s Lib/Lab government ministers.
    A foolish choice it would be to believe everything media released or a news published article to inform the people of Tasmania.

    In the matter of the Basslink cable, another interesting exercise apart from the cause of the damage to the cable would be to do one’s own mathematics (with the aid of some internet research) will arrive at the fact that the cable is not at all a viable financial concern.

    The waffle that began in the corridors of Tasmania’s parliament about a 2nd Basslink cable clearly identifies the intellectual shallowness that has pervaded upon and among the State’s political incumbents over say the past 20 odd years.
    Whether or not taxpayer or GST funding is wasted, means nothing to the Lib/Lab government.
    There is always more money flowing into the State revenue bunkers to blank over the dysfunctional decisions that have arisen from within the government of the day.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  14/07/18  at  05:02 PM
  27. #25 ... Let me assure you that I am not a journalist. I am a qualified, retired, electrical and electronic Technical Officer.

    There is no financial involvement. The article is provided on an amateur basis. The dictionary definition of amateur is “for the love of it”.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  14/07/18  at  06:12 PM
  28. #26 ... This thread is about the implications in the article, not irrelevant cable operational financial viability.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  14/07/18  at  06:16 PM
  29. Ted, when I was an apprentice I worked as an electric motor re-winder. We worked on motors of all sizes. I did some work on a generator in a power station that had endured a nearby lightning strike. There was much more damage than that cable shows.

    First: Once the lightning exits the cable the amount of energy dispersed would have taken copper from the core of the cable and blown it outwards. There would be splatter on the outside of the cable, plus the steel wire armouring would also have been blown outwards and it would have copper particles melted onto it.

    The generator I worked on and repaired had a fist size hole blown in a couple of coils. Each coil had around 16 layers of mica and fibreglass tape on it. The blow-out went from the conductors through all that insulation, and earthed onto the frame of the generator that was at least 100 mm clear of the windings.

    The amount of energy contained in a lightning strike would also have blown many of the electronic rectifiers used at each end of the cable.

    The system would have heaps of lightning protection built in. It would be very unlikely that the fault was lightning, and if it were it would be very obvious.

    It does seem strange that there is a disclaimer that says if a ship damages the cable, and owns up to it, then no claims would be made against them. From memory that was on the Basslink website.

    As I have already said we will never be told the real cause of the damage.

    Posted by Pete Godfrey  on  14/07/18  at  07:29 PM
  30. This is fantastic ..!

    The delusional TT fantasy mill has gone into hyper-drive ...

    This one takes its credibility to dizzying new heights ...

    sheesh ...

    Posted by George Harris  on  14/07/18  at  09:36 PM
  31. #30 ... George, I have another theory that puts you and your mates in the spotlight!

    A ship loaded with your royalty-free specialty timbers was heading north and decided to drop anchor in Bass strait for the night and have a big piss up.

    Little did they know that they had anchored onto the Basslink cable, and so when they woke up completely hung over in the morning and set sail they completely forgot to raise the anchor and damaged the cable.

    This incident has just as much credibility as any other at the moment, and if the truth comes out I hope you have a good insurance policy.

    But then again, if you get sued and have to go into administration then the forest will get one more reprieve!

    Are you sweating on this?

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  15/07/18  at  08:30 AM
  32. Why is it that, almost always, only men comment on articles in the Tasmanian Times?

    Posted by Geoff Holloway  on  15/07/18  at  03:52 PM
  33. #32 ... All due respect to the fairer sex, and to the author who is clearly trying to keep this thread on its intended path regarding a deliberate force majeure fabrication.

    I don’t consider greasy fish, chip n trawler salespeople, men. They lack the required gear to tackle the important issues of looking after Tasmania, its people and environment, without blindly bending over and selling us all out to the nearest nefarious corporate interest.

    The delusions they sell
    for their corporate masters
    regarding worlds best practice, sustainability, community consultation, jobs jobs jobs and economic necessity
    were proven long ago to be
    nothing more
    than the self interested parroting of
    cheaply bought git shibbons

    skidmarks on humanities map of tassie

    shame shame shame
    squark squark squark

    Posted by spikey  on  15/07/18  at  07:22 PM
  34. “All due respect to the fairer sex ... “

    Well, I’m one of the fairer sex .. and I think Ted Mead has just put the lid on the whole discussion ..

    Onya, Ted!

    Posted by Lynne Newington  on  15/07/18  at  08:16 PM
  35. #34 I give respect to people for their words and actions, not which chromosomes they carry.

    I find you fairer than most Lynne, perhaps a little too fair in my occasionally humble opinion, particulary of you respecting views that may be creatively created corporate propaganda as opposed to honestly felt expressions.

    But I don’t know you, I don’t trust you and i’m not sure what sort of a lid Ted put on anything.


    Are you joining the ranks of rubbishing the trawler hypothesis on this threads merits?


    Seriously even fitch n Georgie are at odds.


    Your congratulations of ted in particular, for ‘putting the lid on’ in absence of any lid.

    Make me go hmmm

    Posted by spikey  on  15/07/18  at  08:56 PM
  36. Obvious the topic of conversation here regarding the fault in the Basslink cable has gone terribly awry.

    This was not my intention (sorry Kelvin) beyond there are numerous theories, and none including Kelvin’s have any hard evidence behind them.

    It’s probable we will never know what really happened unless someone whistleblows the truth.

    It’s all a big hush up to keep the compensation claim of the Liberals moving forward in hope of recompense for something they were most likely the offenders of.

    Posted by Ted Mead  on  15/07/18  at  09:48 PM
  37. “But I don’t know you, I don’t trust you and I’m not sure what sort of a lid Ted put on anything.”

    Makes me go hmm too. It sounds like you’ve lost your sense of humour and it’s only early yet, 8:56 pm.

    Posted by Lynne Newington  on  15/07/18  at  10:10 PM
  38. #37 ... Yes, but you appear somewhat keen to see a lid on what other nefarious contributors want to see a lid on.

    What lid are you taking about Lynne?

    I’m not sure what the time has to do with it.

    I’m not sure what my sense of humour has to do with it.

    I’m not really sure you’re giving the fairer sex its due representation in one of many ongoing bullshit governance debates.

    Would you like to see Ted’s synopsis as the end of the matter?

    Posted by spikrey  on  15/07/18  at  10:56 PM
  39. “... I’m not sure what my sense of humour has to do with it.”

    If you don’t see what your lack of sense of humour is (at such an early hour of the evening) then it’s a lost conversation.

    Catch up the next time around.

    Posted by Lynne Newington  on  16/07/18  at  09:14 AM
  40. #***** It is is interesting since my absence on my thread how it has developed .. or rather degenerated.

    It also conforms to a pattern I have noticed on incisive articles which affect an entity. Again suspect the work of PCSW (Professional Counter Spin Writers).

    Thread always ends with a bland topic in this case around “sexism”. Nothing to do with the original topic.

    It puts any latecomer reading the original contributing in a meaningful manner. It is away of dribbling an unwelcome thread to an end.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  16/07/18  at  01:12 PM
  41. #**** Just to remind everybody that the thrust of this article is not about the many various technical scenarios that may have befallen the cable except one. The Geelong Star Trawler.

    The Government and Basslink have taken to a legal boxing match. They each have their corner and State Gov has called it the theoretical Model corner, and Baslink the Force Mejeure corner. All others theories, plausable or not, that are without any proof are out.

    Basslink and Tasmanians have painted themselves into a legal corner on abstract and hypothetical stances.

    Why Geelong Star? Because there is hard circumstantial evidence that that she could have struck the cable. Opportunity, motive, means.

    Two of the factors, motive and means, can be substantiated. However, opportunity, although approximate, is not substantiated sufficiently.

    My argument is that until the Geelong Star is fully exonerated then Basslink and the Tasmanian government have no legal case, the reason is Geelong Star is a physical known fact. In fact if her absence of presence is never revealed, then no further legal action can be taken or would be a sham.

    It also makes any meaningful investigation into the real cause fraught with difficulty. Further, some insurance and other contracts may be invalid but that is hypothetical on my part not knowing the contents of those contracts.

    This whole argument I am putting forward is essentially legally based rather than technical.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  16/07/18  at  01:56 PM
  42. I see still no evidence put forward to support this theory, or the one that aliens were involved.

    Out of interest Kelvin, do you,have any legal qualifications, or have you anyone with said qualifications prepared to stand by your claims in #41?

    Means, motive and opportunity are concepts within a legal framework that primarily relate to serious criminal matters - think pre-meditated murder, not contractual disputes.

    Or are you inferring criminality on the part of the parties involved?

    If you want to run ‘essentially legal’ arguments then, with with the greatest of respect, I suggest you go and study the hearsay rules and exceptions for a start.

    I still can’t see any ‘evidence’ put forward to support the argument, or the suggested subsequent conspiracy.

    Ordinarily defending unknown allegations with a reverse onus of proof (ie, guilty until proven innocent) is a common feature of ‘Star Chambers,’ hence my earlier observations.

    Posted by Cleaver  on  16/07/18  at  02:51 PM
  43. What’s the motive for the trawler to damage the cable, Kelvin ?

    Posted by Mjf  on  16/07/18  at  05:02 PM
  44. #43 ... Please read the article to see how motive is interpreted.

    It absolutely does not mean, in this context, a deliberate attempt to damage the cable.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  16/07/18  at  08:10 PM
  45. 44 ... As I thought it was. Your ‘motive’ is only a motive in terms of net testing, Kelvin. I don’t see that’s there’s any motive relative to cable or its damage.

    Rather you motive hypothesis is in reality a ‘possible explanation’ .. which is not a motive.

    Posted by MjF  on  16/07/18  at  11:45 PM
  46. Ted, #31 ... You have a serious case of it.

    Posted by George Harris  on  17/07/18  at  11:03 PM
  47. As Kelvin points out, many commenters seem to be intent on “muddying the waters”.

    It seems to me to be a simple proposition.

    The Basslink cable suffered damage at a time when a ship that was potentially capable of causing cable damage was in the vicinity. It would seem entirely reasonable to ask the owners of the ship to provide evidence of the ship’s location at the time.

    Here’s an analogy ...

    If a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at night on an isolated country road, and a particular vehicle was known to have used the road at that time, would it be reasonable to require the owner (or driver) of the vehicle to provide details of where they were at the relevant time?

    I believe this is called “eliminating ... from the inquiry.”

    Posted by pat synge  on  19/07/18  at  02:58 PM
  48. That’s perfect reasoning, Pat!

    Posted by Peter Bright  on  19/07/18  at  03:54 PM
  49. #47 and #48 ... Thank you. I think that excellent reasoning.

    #31 Ted ... Your ship would have an AIS TRANSPONDER ON. If it did not it would be contacted by Maritime. If it did not respond it would be declared an emergency distress.

    Posted by Kelvin Jones  on  19/07/18  at  06:38 PM
  50. Kelvin, when do you suppose the Geelong Star actually damaged the cable? At the exact time of the registered fault?

    Or could there have been some delay (seconds, hours, days, weeks) before the cable decided to short to earth after it was ‘damaged’?

    Posted by charles  on  23/07/18  at  12:13 AM

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