Sydney gets new ferry called ′Ferry McFerryface′ | News | DW | 14.11.2017
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Sydney gets new ferry called 'Ferry McFerryface'

A new Sydney harbor ferry will be named "Ferry McFerryface" after authorities of New South Wales overruled the front runner "Boaty McBoatface" as unoriginal. The names were suggested via an online poll.

Sydney residents and visitors will soon be able to ride across the harbor in a vessel named "Ferry McFerryface," New South Wales officials announced on Tuesday.

The jokey name is inspired by the 2016 viral phenomena in the UK, when a former radio host James Hand suggested "Boaty McBoatface" as a name for a cutting-edge polar research vessel in an online poll. The suggestion quickly gathered steam and won the competition. However, the officials in the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) overruled the results and named the ship after the legendary BBC broadcaster David Attenborough. Still, the British officials dubbed one of ship's robot submarines "Boaty McBoatface" as a tribute to the people's favorite moniker.

Read more: Boaty McBoatface loses out to 'RSS David Attenborough' in final name decision

"Boaty McBoatface" also led the online poll for the Sydney vessel, but officials in the Australian state of New South Wales went for the second most popular choice, saying that "Boaty" was already taken.

"Ferry McFerryface will be the harbor's newest icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike," state's Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said on Tuesday.

Public transport treated as a 'joke'

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The remaining five cross-harbor vessels will carry more serious names, honoring prominent Sydney Aborigines Bungaree and Pemulwuy, and Australian medical doctors Victor Chan, Catherine Hamlin and Fred Hollows. Some 150,000 people took part in the naming poll during the past year.

While the name might be popular with the public, the country's Maritime Union, whose members staff the ferry fleet, criticized the move.

"The transport minister is demonstrating here that he treats public transport as a joke," said union spokesman Paul Garrett.

"Ferry McFerryface" is only the latest example of the global trend inspired by the last year's poll in the UK. Users all over the world followed suit in recent months, with a Swedish train being names Trainy McTrainface and a Sydney racehorse named Horsey McHorseface.

The idea for "Boaty McBoatface," however, might not be that original after all and may well have an Australian origin. A Tasmanian zoo named one of their adopted owls Hooty McOwlface in 2013.

dj/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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