Polar research ship RSS Sir David Attenborough spotted near Lochaline

Isla Robertson's photograph of the polar research ship, the RSS Sir David Attenborough, as it makes its way along the Morvern coast. NO F08 RSS Sir David Attenborough
Polar research ship, the RSS Sir David Attenborough, makes its way through the Sound of Mull. Photograph: Isla Robertson. NO F08 RSS Sir David Attenborough

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The polar research vessel named in honour of Sir David Attenborough was spotted in the Sound of Mull, near Lochaline, last Wednesday.

The 129-metre vessel, owned by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and to be operated by the British Antarctic Survey, is understood to have sailed from Holyhead, Wales, as part of sea trials, and was captured on camera by sharp-eyed Isla Robertson and Kyle Mealand.

The unusual moniker followed a campaign in 2016 for the public to come up with a name for the UK’s next world-class polar research ship.

The RSS Sir David Attenborough sails along the Morvern coast. Photograph: Kyle Mealand. NO F08 polar ship 01
The RSS Sir David Attenborough sails along the Morvern coast. Photograph: Kyle Mealand.
NO F08 polar ship 01

The ship itself was named RRS (Royal Research Ship) Sir David Attenborough but due to the popularity of ‘Boaty McBoatface’, that was the suggested name awarded to one of its ‘Autosub Long Range’ autonomous vehicles (ALR).

‘Boaty’ is one of three ‘ALR’s’ capable of travelling thousands of kilometres on missions lasting several months at a time and can travel under ice and reach depths of 6,000 metres.

The ship is due to undertake ice trials in the Arctic in the early part of this year and in November will make its maiden voyage to Antarctica.

 

NO F08 RSS Sir David Attenborough