Thursday 26 September 2019 2:34 pm

Boaty McBoatface: Antarctic vessel officially named the RSS Sir David Attenborough

A polar research vessel that the public voted to name Boaty McBoatface is ready to be launched today on the River Mersey.

The ship will be called the RRS Sir David Attenborough after the famous naturalist, and will allow scientists to undertake more advanced explorations in the Arctic and Antarctic.

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The vessel, which took two years to build, was almost named Boat McBoatface after a public vote overwhelmingly chose that name.


Instead a small yellow robot submarine on board will bear that name.

“We all need this ship. Our world is changing and it’s clear that people around the world – especially the young – are becoming more and more concerned about a climate catastrophe,” Attenborough said.

“But human beings are resilient and skilful.  If we pay attention to the scientific knowledge that those who will sail in this ship will gather, then we will stand a much better chance of finding a way to deal with what lies ahead.”

The RSS Sir David Attenborough was almost named Boaty McBoatface (credit: British Antarctic Survey)
The RSS Sir David Attenborough was almost named Boaty McBoatface (credit: British Antarctic Survey)

The RSS Sir David Attenborough boasts state-of-the-art facilities to enable scientists to research the impact of climate change on the Earth’s oceans and marine life.

“This magnificent ship will take UK scientists deep into the heart of the ice-covered polar seas,” Dame Jane Francis, director of British Antarctic Survey, said.

“With state-of-the-art technology they will discover how drastically the polar oceans and the ice have been changed by our actions.

“This ship will take us to the ends of the Earth to help us understand our future world.”


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The next stage is for specialist engineers to complete the interior fit-out before the boat is tested in the River Mersey and deeper UK waters.

The ship is due to enter full service from October 2020.

Pictures credit: British Antarctic Survey

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