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Montevideo, November 28th 2020 - 02:57 UTC

 

 

Britain's new polar ship Sir David Attenborough begins sea trials

Thursday, October 22nd 2020 - 08:50 UTC
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The Attenborough is going to sail across the north Wales coast to Holyhead, which will be her base for the next year (Pic PeterBryne_PAWire) The Attenborough is going to sail across the north Wales coast to Holyhead, which will be her base for the next year (Pic PeterBryne_PAWire)

Britain's new polar ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough, has left her Merseyside construction yard. Sirens and accompanying tugboats marked the Attenborough's departure from builder Cammell Laird's wet dock at Birkenhead. Four years in the making, the £200m vessel is about to venture out on a series of sea trials.

But her first journey was only a short one - a few hundred meters down-river to Liverpool's cruise terminal.

She's going to be tied up there for a few days of final crew training and familiarization, before then heading off into the Irish Sea.

The Attenborough is going to sail across the north Wales coast to Holyhead, which will be her base for the next year. But she can't arrive until after the latest Welsh Covid lockdown, which ends on Monday 9 November.

“This vessel is a true celebration of British expertise - from the team who built it right through to the scientific community that will call this ship home,” the company'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.”

Engineers need to run the rule over all the vessel's systems and equipment before it can be released to support UK scientists in the Arctic and the Antarctic.

These trials will include an assessment of the Attenborough's ice-breaking capabilities.

The design specifications called for a ship that could crunch through frozen floes with a thickness of up to 1m and at a speed of 3 knots (1.5m/s).

If all goes well with the tests, the Attenborough will make her first cruise to the Antarctic in November 2021.

 

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