UK's 'Boaty McBoatface' polar vessel begins sea trials

Britain's most advanced polar research ship in decades was set to begin technical sea trials on Wednesday before making its maiden voyage to Antarctica next year.

The £200 million ($263 million, 222 million euro) 15,000 tonne vessel, which found global fame in 2016 when the public voted for it to be called "Boaty McBoatface", is expected to transform UK research in the .

"This magnificent ship will take UK scientists deep into the heart of the ice-covered polar seas," said Professor Dame Jane Francis, director of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which will operate the boat.

More than 120,000 people voted for "Boaty McBoatface" in an online poll, but officials decided the ship would be named "Sir David Attenborough" in honour of the veteran naturalist and broadcaster.

As a nod to the , officials agreed to call its "Boaty McBoatface".

The ship will spend two weeks undergoing technical trials off the north Wales coast before travelling to the Arctic for ice trials early next year.

In November 2021, it will make its maiden voyage to Antarctica.

© 2020 AFP

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