′Boaty McBoatface′ loses out to ′RSS Sir David Attenborough′ in final name decision | News | DW | 06.05.2016
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'Boaty McBoatface' loses out to 'RSS Sir David Attenborough' in final name decision

Despite winning the public vote, a UK government-funded research vessel will not be named "Boaty McBoatface." The humorous moniker will instead adorn a high-tech sub, onboard the "RSS Sir David Attenborough."

The final decision, announced on Friday, came two months after the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) launched a public online poll, giving creative minds the chance to suggest names for a new £200 million ($287 millionor 255 million-euro) polar research ship.

Snubbing the NERC's call for inspirational names, however, more than 124,000 people went on to vote for "Boaty McBoatface" - an idea submitted by communications manager Jand former BBC radio presenter James Hand.

After appearing to apologize for his suggestion, Hand confirmed his pride in the name shortly after its submission in a tweet:

Besides a number of serious scientific suggestions, such as " Henry Worsley" - after the British explorer who died in January while attempting to complete the first solo and unaided crossing of the Antarctic - there seemed to be no curtailing the British humor. Other popular ideas included "It's Bloody Cold Here," "What Iceberg," "Captain Haddock," "Big Shipinnit" and "Big Metal Floaty Thingy-thing."

One month and 7,000 suggestions later, the public vote showcased the power of the internet and it was Boaty McBoatface that won the online poll. The final decision, however, was left in the hands of the UK's Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson - younger brother to London's outgoing mayor, Boris.

Johnson announced on Twitter on Friday that the polar research ship will be named "RSS Sir David Attenborough," in tribute the broadcaster and natural scientist.

London newspaper the "Evening Standard" reported that Sir David, who celebrates his 90th birthday on Sunday said he said he felt "truly honoured" to lend his name to the vessel.

In a compromise to favor the public opion poll, Johnson said a remotely operated underwater vehicle, which will collect samples from the deep waters of the Arctic and Antarctic, will be named "Boaty McBoatface."

James Hand, the man behind the vote-winning name, said he thought "RSS David Attenborough" was a "fitting and excellent choice."

"That being said, I'm really plesaed to hear 'Boaty McBoatface' will live on. The name appeals to the child in us: that's one of the reason's it's been so popular," he said.

Despite the decision being largely praised, many Twitter users responded with the expected amount of disappointment and humor, with many questioning the country's democratic credentials on the same day that the UK also woke up to results in the local elections.

The vessel is to be built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Liverpool and is due to head off to Antarctica in 2019.

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