Boaty McBoatface Makes Inaugural Voyage to Antarctica

As a nod to democracy - and a sense of humour - Johnson agreed that the Boaty McBoatface name could be given to a remote-control robotic underwater vehicle which will eventually sit on board the main ship.

Scientists from the University of Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey will launch Boaty into what the survey group describes as "some of the deepest and coldest abyssal ocean waters on Earth".

He instead opted to name the vessel after national treasure Sir David Attenborough, a decision which was unlikely to ruffle too many feathers.

The remote-controlled underwater research submarine that captivated the world previous year is making its first ever trip this week to Antarctica to capture climate change data - and also our hearts.

In 2019 Boaty McBoatface will be fitted with acoustic and chemical sensors and sent into the North Sea to "sniff out" signals associated with the artificial release of gas beneath the seabed.

British officials, however, did not let "Boaty McBoatface" become the ship's official name. One person wrote on Twitter, "They used the name Boaty McBoatface after all, but gave it to a submarine and not a boat?" It was instead named RRS Sir David Attenborough, after the famed BBC broadcaster and naturalist.

All jokes aside, NERC is insistent the public remember that Boaty McBoatface is engaged in serious and important business.

There, the unmanned sub will investigate water flow and underwater turbulence in the Orkney Passage, a deep and narrow gap connecting Antarctic water to the Atlantic Ocean.

Past year officials said that the drone submarine will be operated from the RSS Sir David Attenborough. The vessel will probe the Southern Ocean's water flow and turbulence.

Sitting aboard Britain's current polar ship the RRS James Clark Ross, the "adventures of Boaty" will be initiated when the submarine heads out of Punta Arenas, Chile, on 17 March. "And so, at the NERC National Oceanography Centre, Autosub Long Range Boaty McBoatface was born".

In an interview with The Guardian, Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato, the lead scientist on the project, shared some words on the expedition: "We will measure how fast the streams flow, how turbulent they are, and how they respond to changes in winds over the Southern Ocean".

  • Tracy Ferguson