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‘Boaty McBoatface’ sinks as UK names research ship

By AFP
06 May 2016 0

Britain will name a new marine research submarine "Boaty McBoatface" rather than giving it the joke name picked by the public for a much bigger ship, a minister announced Friday.

The £200 million (250 million euro, $290 million) 15,000 tonne polar research ship will instead be named “Sir David Attenborough” after the veteran naturalist and broadcaster.

Both vessels will be used to collect data and samples from waters in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The furore erupted when the Natural Environment Research Council launched an online poll in March asking members of the public to choose a name for its new ship.

More than 120,000 people voted for “Boaty McBoatface”, several times more than supported the second most popular name.

Other suggestions included “Clifford The Big Red Boat” and “Usain Boat”.

James Hand, who first made the “Boaty McBoatface” suggestion, apologised to the NERC on Twitter, saying: “I’m terribly sorry about all of this.”

Announcing the decision, Science Minister Jo Johnson said the public had provided “some truly inspirational and creative names”

“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,” Johnson added.

“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”.

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© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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