The impressive polar ship Sir David Attenborough is preparing to leave its Birkenhead shipyard and embark on a series of sea trials.
The mighty £200 million vessel – which was going to be called Boaty McBoatface after a public vote, before sensibly being named after the great TV naturalist – will leave Cammell Laird's wet dock this afternoon, but it will only venture a short distance, to the cruise ship dock in Liverpool.
Within the next few days, the 129-metre-long, 15,000-ton Attenborough – which has taken four years to construct – will sail across the coast of North Wales to the port of Holyhead, on Anglesey, which will be its home base for the next 12 months as it goes through a series of stringent tests.
Engineers need to give all of the equipment and systems on board a thorough shakedown before it can head off to the Arctic and Antarctic to work with UK scientists.
The Sir David Attenborough is the largest commercial ship built in the country in 30 years. Cammell Laird's David McGinley said: “The RRS Sir David Attenborough is the single biggest and most-ambitious build in the history of Cammell Laird, and it's an incredibly proud moment to see her embark on sea trials.”
Photo credit: Richard Turner/BAS