‘Boaty McBoatface’ ship to be named after David Attenborough

The new state-of-the-art polar research ship that is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough Picture: NERC/PA Wire

The new state-of-the-art polar research ship that is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough Picture: NERC/PA Wire

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The new polar research ship, which the public voted to be called Boaty McBoatface, will instead be named RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The naming of the £200m vessel was opened up to the public, who quickly favoured Boaty McBoatface. But Science Minister Jo Johnson confirmed today that the vessle would be named after Sir David Attenborough instead, calling it a “more suitable” name.

He 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 fulfils its mission to explore the oceans and put Britain at the forefront of efforts to preserve our precious marine environment.”

Sir David has said that he feels “truly honoured” by the decision, and that he hoped “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.”

Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have said they will discuss if the public engagement project around the search for a name has been a success or a failure.

Nicola Blackwood, committee chair, said she wanted to explore whether the process was a “triumph of public engagement or a PR disaster”.

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