'Boaty McBoatface' set to leave River Tyne

The stern section of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, leaves A&P Tynes Hebburn shipyard.
The stern section of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, leaves A&P Tynes Hebburn shipyard.

Part of a vessel which achieved national fame when the public wanted to call it 'Boaty McBoatface' will leave the River Tyne today.

The stern section of the new polar research ship Sir David Attenborough, is due to leave leave A&P Tyne’s Hebburn shipyard - part of A&P Group - for the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead around 3pm today.

Part of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, will leave A&P Tynes Hebburn shipyard for Birkenhead.

Part of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, will leave A&P Tynes Hebburn shipyard for Birkenhead.

In March last year the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked the public to name the vessel - which saw Boaty McBoatface come out on top after amassing thousands of votes.

The organisation decided to name the ship after national treasure Sir David Attenborough - with the name Boaty McBoatface given to the ship's high-tech remotely operated sub-sea vehicle.

Commissioned by NERC, and built by marine engineering company Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd, the vessel is a Rolls-Royce design and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey when the ship enters service in 2019.

A&P Tyne’s specialist team of engineers and fabricators has invested more than 175,000 man hours in the fabrication of the 899-tonne steel stern, also known as Block 10, which is the equivalent weight of 71 London double decker buses and more than 23 meters long and 24 meters wide.

The stern section of the RRS Sir David Attenborough was built in Hebburn.

The stern section of the RRS Sir David Attenborough was built in Hebburn.

David McGinley, group managing director of A&P Group, said: “This project is the very epitome of how the UK’s ship building industry can work together to not only deliver the best in class engineering and fabrication but to hone and nurture the very best talent and skills.

“As one of the country’s leading fabrication businesses it’s a privilege and honour to add such a high profile and important research ship to the list.

"This project is also testament that ship building continues to flourish on the Tyne.”

The prefabricated unit is due to begin its journey from Hebburn to Cammell Laird in Birkenhead today, August 21.

The vessel known as RRS Sir David Attenborough won a popular vote to be called  Boaty McBoatfac.

The vessel known as RRS Sir David Attenborough won a popular vote to be called Boaty McBoatfac.

It will leave the river on a barge and the journey will take up to five days.

John Syvret CBE, chief executive officer of both Cammell Laird and A&P Group said: “The construction of the blocks by the A&P Group, as a contractor to Cammell Laird, is a tremendous showcase for British shipbuilding and engineering.

"Whilst both organisations are fierce competitors who very much ‘compete where they must’, they also on an arm’s length commercial basis ‘cooperate where they can’.

“The RRS Sir David Attenborough ship build contract facilitates this cooperation where positive commercial benefits have been achieved.

What the Sir David Attenborough ship should look like when completed.

What the Sir David Attenborough ship should look like when completed.

"By investing in UK shipyards, and encouraging shipyards to work together, the UK can dramatically ramp up the number of ships it builds, converts and repairs, for the commercial and naval sectors at home and abroad. "

When built, experts have said the RRS Sir David Attenborough will be one of the most advanced ships of its type in the world.

Mr Syvret added: “We know there is huge passion in the entire Cammell Laird workforce, as well as in our supply chain and at A&P for this project.

"We would also like to thank the British Antarctic Survey and the Natural Environmental Research Council for their support.

"We very much look forward to an unforgettable slipway launch in 2018.”

British Antarctic Survey’s Director of Operations, Tim Stockings said: “We’re really excited at seeing our new ship RRS Sir David Attenborough taking shape.

What the Sir David Attenborough ship should look like when completed.

What the Sir David Attenborough ship should look like when completed.

"The ship represents an important partnership with UK industry to deliver world leading science for the UK and beyond.

"The load out is another incredible milestone in this amazing project.

"We cannot wait to take delivery of this fantastic ship.”

To track the barge once its departed visit: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:111493/zoom:14