Sir David Attenborough polar ship ready for launch

Latest news

    HullImage copyright CAMMELL LAIRD/BAS/A.Jeffries
    Image caption The time of the launch will be 12:20 on Saturday

    Britain’s new polar research ship is ready to go in the water.

    The newly assembled hull of the RRS Sir David Attenborough is now standing on the slipway of the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead, awaiting launch day.

    Weather and tide permitting, she should slide into the River Mersey on Saturday.

    The £200m vessel will replace the James Clark Ross and the Endurance, which between them have almost 50 years’ service in support of UK polar science.

    The Attenborough is the ship the public had wanted to call “Boaty McBoatface” in an online poll, before ministers stepped in to choose a more appropriate name.

    She represents the largest commercial ship built in Britain in three decades.

    The hull should make for quite a sight as her steelwork floats out into Liverpool’s famous waters.

    Ship details

    “She’s not a huge supertanker but she is a large ship at 128.9m and around 10,000 tonnes on the day – so, there will be a bit of a splash, certainly off the stern,” said Cammell Laird’s David Williams.

    “She’s got quite a flat transom and as that makes the transition to the water, there will be some waves created,” the business development director told BBC News.

    The company will have an invited audience in the yard on Saturday of more than 2,000 people, made up of VIPs, staff and their families. But star of the day will, of course, be Sir David himself.

    The BBC naturalist will be asked to press the button that unleashes his namesake on its grand slide into the water.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionDavid Williams: “It should take less than 90 seconds”

    Recent days have seen the hull lifted out of Cammell Laird’s giant construction hall by a fleet of remote controlled, multi-wheeled trolleys.

    These vehicles have placed the ship atop a set of rails, or “standing ways”, covered in grease.

    Paint jobImage copyright CAMMELL LAIRD/BAS/A.Jeffries
    Image caption Multi-wheeled trailers have manoeuvred the ship into position

    Temporary fixtures on the underside of the hull have been attached to shoes, or “moving ways”, and at the appointed time these should glide the Attenborough effortlessly down the gentle slope to the river.

    It will be an important moment for Cammell Laird which has fought hard to position itself in the competitive international shipbuilding market.

    Not since 1993 has a vessel built at the yard been launched into the water in this dynamic fashion.

    Once in the water, the hull will be caught by tugs, which will manoeuvre it into the company’s harbour.

    The harbour is where the top decks – built as a large, separate structure – will be put in place.

    Detailed outfitting then follows before the ship is complete and ready for its official naming ceremony at the end of the year.

    “We’ve definitely risen to the challenge, as many people will realise, especially when they see how advanced she is right now, given the timeframe since we first started building her,” said Claire Biggar, assistant ship manager at Cammell Laird.

    “She’s structurally complete and we’re well on our way with the outfitting. For the company, this is an amazing achievement.”

    HullImage copyright CAMMELL LAIRD/BAS/A.Jeffries
    Image caption The ship will not be fully ready until late this year

    The BBC will have coverage of the launch on the day, and the British Antarctic Survey will also stream the event.

    Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos

    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44780708

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44780708

    In the same category are

    Bob Higgins trial: Ex-football coach guilty of sex assault charge Image copyright other Image caption Mr Higgins denied all the charges involving 24 complainants, most of whom were Southampton and Peterborough Utd...
    Bob Higgins trial: Ex-football coach guilty of sex assault charge Image copyright other Image caption Mr Higgins denied all the charges involving 24 complainants, most of whom were Southampton and Peterborough Utd...
    Tour de France: Chris Froome says he and Geraint Thomas are in a ‘dream position’ Rivalry 'doesn't exist' between me and Thomas - FroomeChris Froome says he and Tour de France leader Geraint Thomas are in a "dream position" and it ...
    Donegal’s ‘screamers’: The story of 1970’s Atlantis Commune Image caption The house in Burtonport which was home to the Atlantis commune in the 1970s In Donegal, the locals called them the "screamers".Paren...
    Beetham Tower: Woman attacked in Manchester Hilton hotel Image copyright Anthony Hilton Image caption Armed police are guarding the scene outside the hotel Armed police are at a hotel in Manchester where...
    Mesut Ozil: German FA rejects the Arsenal midfielder’s racism claim Germany's football association (DFB) has rejected allegations of racism from Mesut Ozil but accept they could have done more to protect him from abus...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.