Monday, March 21, 2016

Boaty McBoatface is leading the vote as public are invited to name new polar research ship

The public are being asked to name the UK's new polar research ship. The £200m, 15,000-tonne, 128m-long vessel is being built at Cammell Laird on Merseyside, and is due to become operational in 2019.

Anyone can propose a suitable name on a special website which will accept ideas up until 16 April. The new ship will replace the existing polar fleet and work in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Names that have featured on previous UK research vessels will not be used again. But beyond that restriction, the possibilities are wide. The Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc), which manages British polar science, says it is looking for something inspirational - something that will exemplify the ship's work.

The chosen name doesn't have to be that of a famous polar scientist; it could just as easily be the name of a place or phenomenon. The current front-runner for the vessel's name is RRS Boaty McBoatface. If the name sticks, Boaty McBoatface will replace the RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton.

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