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'Boaty McBoatface' Ship Named After Sir David Attenborough

'Boaty McBoatface' Ship Named After Sir David Attenborough


Liam Bond

Liam Bond

Democracy may not have prevailed, but the UK government has dodged a bullet by naming their new polar research vessel after legendary broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough.

Without many guidelines other than it must have the 'RRS (Royal Research Ship) format', the public was asked to come up with a name for the £200 million ship.

Names such as 'RRS Ice Ice Baby', 'RRS Boatimus Prime' and 'RRS Boat Marley and the Wahelers', were all put forward, because the British public are funny bastards.

RSS Boaty McBoatface ran away with the poll but it was deemed a ridiculous name for the research vessel and was subsequently ruled out.

However, to keep the people happy, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has announced that a subsea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the vessel will be called Boaty McBoatface. So we can be pretty pleased about that.

Science Minister Jo Johnson said: "The public provided some truly inspirational and creative names, and while it was a difficult decision I'm delighted that our state-of-the-art polar research ship will be named after one of the nation's most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists.

"This vessel will carry the Attenborough name for decades to come, as it fulfills its mission to explore the oceans and put Britain at the forefront of efforts to preserve our precious marine environment.

"The ship has captured the imaginations of millions, which is why we're ensuring that the Boaty name lives on through the sub-sea vehicle that will support the research crew, and the polar science education programme that will bring their work to life."

Sir David, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on Sunday, said he was 'truly honoured' by the name.

"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."

James Hand, the guy behind the Boaty McBoatface suggestion, said he's delighted that the Boaty name will live on, but admitted that naming it after Sir David was a 'fitting and excellent choice'.

Despite Sir David Attenborough only receiving 11,000 votes compared to Boaty McBoatface's 124,000, we can't really have any complaints about the name because he's such a legend.

Words by Liam Bond

Lead image credit: NERC

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Topics: rss david attenborough

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