Boaty McBoatface boat finally begins construction

That's right. Boaty McBoatface is back in the headlines.

Earlier this year the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked Britain to name its new polar research ship - and the country answered overwhelmingly in favour of the only obvious decision. Sadly though it was decided the ship, which starts construction today, should have a more sensible name.

The ultimate decision was it should be named after naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough, something we can all get on board with, right?

Some people just ask too much...

Attenborough will attend the construction and initiate the laying of the first block of the keel. The keel-laying, which will be attended by around 1,000 people, is a traditional maritime ceremony to bring good luck to a vessel during its construction. The £200 million ship is being built in the UK on Merseyside in the largest commercial shipbuilding project in the country in 30 years.

Graphic showing results of poll to name research vessel
A poll to decide the vessel's name had Boaty McBoatface way out in the lead (PA Graphics/PA)

Once it sets sail in 2019, the RRS Sir David Attenborough will provide the UK with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will conduct research into the world's oceans and tackling climate change, the research council said.

Science minister Jo Johnson made the decision to name the vessel after Attenborough, and the announcement was called just days before the veteran broadcaster's 90th birthday. However, it was announced a remote-control sub-sea vehicle would indeed be called Boaty McBoatface.

The type of remote-control sub-sea vehicle that is to be named Boaty McBoatface
This artist's impression from the NERC shows the type of remote-control sub-sea vehicle that is to be named Boaty McBoatface (NERC/PA)

Not everyone thinks this is enough though.

In fact, many are now questioning the voting in Britain altogether...

Johnson said: "The RRS Sir David Attenborough, with Boaty McBoatface operated from her as a robotic underwater vehicle, will be one of the most advanced research ships in the world. It will help inspire the next generation of scientists in the UK and build on our status as one of the world's leading nations in polar science, engineering and technology."

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