'Boaty McBoatface' ship to be named after BBC broadcaster David Attenborough

By Daniel Uria  |  Updated May 6, 2016 at 4:22 PM
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LONDON, May 6 (UPI) -- The U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council announced that its new polar research ship will be named after BBC broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough after the name "Boaty McBoatface" won a voter poll.

Science Minister Jo Johnson announced the nearly $290 million ship would be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough in honor of his contribution to natural science.

"The decision to name the ship after Sir David Attenborough comes only days before Sir David's 90th birthday and is in recognition of his legacy in British broadcasting, inspiring a love of the natural world over generations," an NERC statement said.

The NERC ran a poll in March seeking a name for the vessel, which is expected to launch in 2019, and "RSS Boaty McBoatface" quickly became the top suggestion.

"Boaty McBoatface" ultimately won the poll gaining 124,109 votes while The name "Sir David Attenborough" received 11,000 votes.

Fans of the goofy name haven't yet given up. Now there's a petition on Change.org that seeks to change Attenborough's name to "Boaty McBoatface." It appears dead in the water.

Although Attenborough wasn't the people's choice, he expressed that he was honored to have the vessel named after him and hoped it would inspire further exploration and discovery.

"I am truly honored by this naming decision and hope that everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship's progress as it explores our polar regions," he said. "I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Johnson also stated that the name "Boaty McBoatface" will instead be applied to the ship's remotely operated submarine.

"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, and the polar science education programme that will bring their work to life," he said.

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