RRS Boaty McBoatface Leads #NameOurShip Contest For Polar Research Vessel Held By U.K. Government

Scott Hough - Author

Nov. 6 2016, Updated 2:42 p.m. ET

The #NameOurShip contest being held by the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom has caused the organization’s website to crash several times since its inception, after “RRS Boaty McBoatface” earned over 26,000 votes, earning the name the “most loved overall” designation by the event’s participants and seemingly, from organizers as well.

The contest is reported to run from March 16 until April 16, and the top suggestion will be used as the official name for the new £200 million (approximately $288 million) research ship currently being built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead and is expected to bring a “significant economic boost to Merseyside” and the surrounding area.

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The 15,000-tonne ship, which if current contest leaders win may be named “Boaty McBoatface,” is described as being the biggest and most advanced polar research vessel in the history of the U.K., according to the #NameOurShip website.

The vessel, which is expected to be completed in 2019, is said to be designed with the “latest robotic, satellite and underwater monitoring technology,” with the intention of serving scientists who are attempting to understand how “ice is evolving as our climate changes, and the consequences for global sea-level rise.”

The NERC states that the new ship will have a helipad, will carry two helicopters, and will be able to remain in pack-ice for up to 60 days, the longest of any U.K. polar research vessel ever. Research that is to be conducted on the new boat will include “monitoring the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet” as well as “looking at ocean circulation,” and “investigating the diversity of marine life.”


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