£200m British polar research ship won't be named 'Boaty McBoatface' despite topping public poll

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is being built on Merseyside and is due to set sail in 2019.
The RRS Sir David Attenborough is being built on Merseyside and is due to set sail in 2019.PHOTO: TWITTER/@NERCSCIENCE

A £200 million (S$394 million) polar research vessel in Britain will not be called "Boaty McBoatface" despite the suggested name's overwhelming victory in a public poll.

It will instead be christened the Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough, after the famous naturalist, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

However, a subsea remotely operated vehicle on the ship will get the name of Boaty McBoatface, which had received 124,000 votes in an Internet vote held by the Natural Environment Research Council.

The moniker had created so much interest that at one point, the council's website crashed.

After challenging people to come up with an "inspirational" title, the other top suggestions included "Poppy-Mai" (39,886 votes), "It's bloody cold here" (10,679 votes), "Usain Boat" (8,710 votes) and "I Like Big Boats & I Cannot Lie" (6,452 votes).

More than 11,000 people voted for "Sir David Attenborough" in the online poll, making it one of the most popular out of the 7,000 different suggestions.

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.

"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."

https://twitter.com/NERCscience/status/728508385692418048

James Hand, a communications manager who suggested the Boaty McBoatface title as a joke, subsequently said he had contacted the council to apologise "profusely", though he maintains that it was a "brilliant name".

He told The Independent: "It was my suggestion but the storm that has been created, it's got legs of its own. It's all been really good fun but it's been so surreal."

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is being built on Merseyside and is due to set sail in 2019.

Touted as the world's most advanced polar research ship, it will allow scientists to conduct research into the world's oceans and how to address climate change.

The vessel will also enable scientists and technicians to stay at sea for longer and carry out research of the polar environments during the winter months.