Wednesday 21 March 2018

Boaty McBoatface to live on as yellow submarine aboard RRS Sir David Attenborough

Photo: Jo Johnson/Twitter
Photo: Jo Johnson/Twitter
Photo: Jo Johnson/Twitter

Meadhbh McGrath

The UK’s new £200m polar research ship is to be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough, despite the infamous title “Boaty McBoatface” topping a public vote.

Although suggestion gained huge support online, picking up 124,000 votes in a poll, the British science minister Jo Johnson said there were “more suitable” names.

It was announced this morning that the vessel would be named after the veteran broadcaster, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on Sunday.

He said he was “truly honoured” by the decision.

Boaty McBoatface fans shouldn’t be too disappointed, however, as an exploratory sub-sea vehicle on board the ship has been given the name.

The remotely-operated vessel will venture off to collect data and samples from the deepest waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the public had suggested “some truly inspirational and creative names”, adding that it had been a “difficult decision”.

She said the chosen name “captures the scientific mission and celebrates the broadcaster’s contribution to natural science”.

James Hand, the man who first suggested naming the ship Boaty McBoatface, tweeted that he was glad the name would “live on” but that RRS Sir David Attenborough was “a fitting and excellent choice”.

The 128m-long, 15,000-tonne ship is being built in Merseyside in north-west England, and is expected to set sail in 2019.

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