Boaty McBoatface will live on as an ROV, polar research vessel’s official name revealed

Despite a landslide online vote in favour of naming the ship Boaty McBoatface, the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) says its new polar research vessel will be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, after the famous British naturalist and broadcaster.

But Boaty McBoatface will live on as one of the vessel’s remotely operated sub-sea vehicles (ROVs).

The UK’s science minister Jo Johnson today announced the government will be investing up to £1m in a new Polar Explorer programme to engage young people and inspire the scientists, engineers and explorers of the future.

“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,” said NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham.

The £200m RRS Sir David Attenborough will be constructed at the Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside in the UK, and is due to enter service in 2019.

The ROV 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 as part of research into climate change.


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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