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March 15, 2021

RSS Sir David Attenborough Delivered to LR Class

(Photo: Lloyd's Register)

(Photo: Lloyd's Register)

Britain’s new polar research ship, the RSS Sir David Attenborough, has been formally presented with Lloyd's Register (LR) certification after a four-year-long construction period, the classification society said.

The high-profile vessel, the U.K.’s largest commercial newbuild for over 30 years, was delivered to Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) by Cammell Laird Shipbuilders. BAS undertake vital research in the polar regions, leading in polar science and polar operations, addressing issues of global importance and helping society adapt to a changing world.

The highly complex vessel is designed to support science in extreme environments. A wide range of specialist scientific facilities, instruments and laboratories enable scientists to conduct multidisciplinary sciences to study the ocean, seafloor, ice and atmosphere.

An ice-strengthened hull, designed to break through ice up to one meter thick, and the ability to spend up to 60 days at sea means the RRS Sir David Attenborough can undertake extensive voyages in polar regions. The vessel will spend the northern summer supporting Arctic research cruises and the austral summer in Antarctica carrying out research programs and bringing people and supplies to BAS research stations.

LR’s Marine & Offshore Service Delivery Manager for UK&I, Mike Williams, said, “The delivery of RRS Sir David Attenborough marks an important milestone for UK commercial shipbuilding, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. We’re delighted to have worked with Cammell Laird Shipbuilders on this state of the art vessel which highlights LR’s technical experience and expertise.”

British Antarctic Survey Director, Professor Dame Jane Francis, said “Achieving certification is a significant milestone. This gives us assurance that our ship is in a fit and efficient condition, and ready to go to sea. Over the coming months our crew will be conducting sea trials in readiness for our maiden voyage to Antarctica later this year.”

Linton Roberts, Operations Director at Cammell Laird, said, “Cammell Laird is immensely proud to have built the RRS Sir David Attenborough; a project which has showcased our shipbuilding capabilities and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability. A great deal of collective expertise and commitment has gone into this build. The Lloyd’s Register team has utilized its technical experience and expertise to support Cammell Laird in delivering one of the most technologically advanced research vessels in the world.”

RRS Sir David Attenborough—known to some as Boaty McBoatface, the top vote getter in an online poll to name the vessel in 2016—is expected to commence polar operations in 2021 after a period of intensive mariner training, testing and trialing the many technical, scientific and operational features and capabilities.

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