Posted: Sat 14th Jul 2018

New polar ship dedicated to Sir David Attenborough launched from Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 14th, 2018

Update: The £200m state-of-the-art polar research ship which hit the headlines after a public voted to name it Boaty McBoatface has been launched today, Saturday, July 14.

Previous report: Boaty McBoatface was, unsurprisingly rejected and the ship was named RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The 129m-long, 10,000 tonne hull will launch, weather and tide permitting into the River Mersey from Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead shipyard for the first time on Saturday afternoon.

[Picture Antarctic Survey]

Shipyard workers, engineers, scientists and maritime industry experts will gather with special guest speakers, including world-renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, to celebrate this remarkable engineering achievement.

Once in the river, tugs will tow hull number 1390 to Cammell Laird’s wet basin for the next stages of construction. The polar research ship is scheduled to come into operation in 2019.

Commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird and operated by the British Antarctic Survey, this is the largest civilian ship to be built in the UK for 30 years.

[Picture Antarctic Survey]

Shipyard workers, engineers, scientists and maritime industry experts will gather with special guest speakers, including world-renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, to celebrate this remarkable engineering achievement.

The new research ship is part of a government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Launched in the summer of the Year of Engineering, this commitment represents the UK government’s largest investment in polar science since the 1980s.

Special guest Sir David Attenborough said:

“Britain began exploring the Antarctic over a century ago when it seemed to be an empty wilderness of little importance to the world as a whole. Now we recognise that what happens at the poles is of the greatest importance to everyone, everywhere.

The UK and the British Antarctic Survey have been making discoveries in both regions that enable us to better understand these global processes and this wonderful new research ship will enable British scientists to continue their crucial work in both the Arctic and Antarctic for decades to come.”

[You Tube/British Antarctic Survey]

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said:

“The launch of the RRS Sir David Attenborough is a really important milestone in the build programme, and it is a great day for the Cammell Laird team. We have said that this Cammell Laird generation is proud of its heritage and is determined make its own history, and the launch of RSS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship underpins this commitment and ambition.

I want to thank NERC, British Antarctic Survey, Rolls Royce, Lloyds Register, Houlder Offshore and the entire supply chain for their commitment and support. This is one team, ‘team UK’, working in partnership to deliver a unique ship with unique capabilities and capacity. I also want to thank our workforce and their families as well as Wirral Borough Council, the Rt Hon Frank Field and all in the community who have supported Cammell Laird on our journey to date.

We are now back in the premier league of the shipbuilding world, it has been a herculean effort by all to get here, this launch raises the brand profile and as a result provides increased global recognition, which bodes well for the future.”

Viewing vantage points from promenades at Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Otterspool Park will provide opportunities for members of the public to join the celebration. The launch will be live-streamed from 11:00 on the BAS website– external link with the ‘splashdown’ at 12:20.


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