New Polar Research Vessel ‘RSS Sir David Attenborough’ Makes Maiden Voyage To Antarctica

Britain’s state-of-the-art polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough, is departing from Harwich to embark on its maiden voyage to Antarctica. The vessel, with 66 crew members and other personnel, will be making a mini stop at Portsmouth to recharge with fuel before sailing for the Falkland Islands.

RRS Sir David Attenborough off the coast of Portrush, Northern Ireland
RRS Sir David Attenborough off the coast of Portrush, Northern Ireland | Image Credits: bas.ac.uk

While on its first mission, the next-gen research vessel will transfer station teams, fuel, food, and cargo to five of the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) research stations.

Prof Dame Jane Francis, BAS director, has reportedly said that they are thrilled to wave off RRS Sir David Attenborough on its first-ever mission. The historic moment is going to mark the upcoming chapter in the domain of shipborne research for the BAS.

RRS Sir David Attenborough photographed during sea trials earlier this year. | Image Credit: Rich Turner, BAS
RRS Sir David Attenborough photographed during sea trials earlier this year. | Image Credit: Rich Turner, BAS

The vessel will be hoisting a rainbow flag to celebrate the Polar Pride Day that will be celebrated on Thursday. This initiative was introduced by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office last year to celebrate the contribution of all LGBTQ+ individuals for polar research in the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI).

The new vessel has been named after the TV presenter and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

RRS Sir David Attenborough visited Greenwich, London to celebrate the UK Presidency of COP26 in October 2021.
RRS Sir David Attenborough visited Greenwich, London to celebrate the UK Presidency of COP26 in October 2021. | Image Credit: BAS

In 2016, via an online poll, users voted to name the vessel “Boaty McBoatface”. However, the ministers overruled it. However, later on, one of the boat’s mini long-range submarines came to be called Boaty McBoatface.

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