British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) state-of-the-art polar research ship Boaty McBoatface was launched on Saturday July 14 at the Cammell Laird shipyards on the River Mersey. Okay, its name is actually Royal Research Ship (RRS) Sir David Attenborough after the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) rejected the McBoatface moniker after it won a public vote in 2016, but it’s still the largest civilian ship to be built in Britain in 30 years.
In 2016, the BAS invited the public to vote on the name for the £200-million (US$284-million) vessel. While expecting something suitably dignified to win, the poll ended in a surprise victory for Boaty McBoatface with 124,109 votes. The NERC then exercised its veto and chose its present name instead.