'Boaty McBoatface' polar ship named after Attenborough


The UK's new polar research ship is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, despite Boaty McBoatface previously topping a public vote.

A website inviting suggestions to name the vessel had attracted huge interest, with "Boaty McBoatface" being the clear favourite.

But Science Minister Jo Johnson said there were "more suitable" names.

The £200m vessel will instead be named after the world-renowned naturalist and broadcaster, days before he turns 90.

Sir David said he was "truly honoured" by the decision.

While the ship will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of the remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty in recognition of the vote.

James Hand, who first suggested the name Boaty McBoatace, said he was pleased the name would "live on".

In a tweet, he also said that RRS Sir David Attenborough was a "fitting and excellent choice".

Mr 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."

He added the ship would "put Britain at the forefront of efforts to preserve our precious marine environment".

And Jane Francis, the director of the British Antarctic Survey, one of the principal users of the ship, told BBC News: "We are delighted with the name RRS David Attenborough. He is an important public figure who has engaged and inspired the public over generations with his passion for the natural world.

"This new ship will be at the forefront of polar science and deliver world-leading capability for UK research in both Antarctica and the Arctic."

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