Polar Research Ship Named RRS Sir David Attenborough, ROV Named Boaty McBoatface

Posted on May 6, 2016

RSS Sir David Attenborough

British officials have named a new polar research ship after Sir David Attenborough. The ship will be named RSS Sir David Attenborough after the British broadcaster who is known for his engaging wildlife documentaries. An ROV on the vessel will be named Boaty McBoatface.

The UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) held an online poll to choose the name of the new boat. The runaway winner of the poll was Boaty McBoatface. NERC decided against using the popular name choice which disappointed those hoping for the boat would be named Boaty McBoatface. As a consolation NERC named the submersible Boaty McBoatface. Some on Twitter have suggested that the ROV is not a boat and it should be named Subby McSubface instead.

The NERC says the "boaty" sub-sea vehicle "will be dispatched from RRS Sir David Attenborough to allow the ship's research crew to collect data and samples from the deepest waters of the Arctic and Antarctic."

NERC Chief Executive Duncan Wingham said in a statement, "The NERC Name Our Ship campaign has engaged the public with the ship's mission on a huge scale and we are very grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by the public in contributing to naming for our new research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough. The new Polar Explorer programme will continue to inspire future generations in this important area of environmental science. We are also very happy to recognise the overall popular choice through naming one of the ship's robotic vehicles Boaty McBoatface."

Attenborough was honored to have the new vessel named in his honor. He says, "I am truly honoured by this naming decision and hope that everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship's progress as it explores our polar regions. I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

The polar research ship is being built in the UK on Merseyside. It is due to set sail in 2019. Here is an image of what Boaty McBoatface (or Subby McSubface) will look like:

Boaty McBoatface ROV


Images: NERC