Boaty McBoatface is go: The little yellow sub is heading to Antarctica on its first mission

Lynsey Barber
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Keel-laying Ceremony Takes Place For The RRS Sir David Attenborough
Boaty McBoatface is actually a small yellow submarine (Source: Getty)

Boaty McBoatface, the nation's favourite name for sea-faring vessels that launched a thousand naming contests, is go.

Yes, the moniker may have been sidelined for one eliciting more gravitas, with the £200m polar research vessel being named RRS Sir David Attenborough in the end after a very amusing naming contest you might remember.

But, a little yellow unmanned submarine was instead named Boaty McBoatface in honour of the public vote, and it's about to venture into the big wide world for the first time.

Read more: Work starts today on the £200m ship almost known as Boaty McBoatface

The intrepid sub is part of a fleet that will be sent to delve for information on the Orkney Passage Outflow, a flow which makes its way from Antarctica and through the Southern Ocean, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) say.

As for the actual boat, NERC say work is continuing on building it in Birkenhead, with "splashdown" expected early next year and sailing off into the sunset in 2019.