After months in dry dock installing scientific equipment, fitting the propellers and painting, our new polar ship takes to the water for the first time since the hull was launched in July last year.
The process began with the ‘float up’, where the dry dock is flooded to lift the ship into the optimal position for towing. It took a total of 5 hours to fill the dock with water, and raise the ship so that it could clear the docking blocks and enter the river safely.
Following this, three tugs helped guide the RRS Sir David Attenborough through the River Mersey and into the wet basin at the shipyard. The move took approximately 2.5 hours from the dry dock gate opening until securely mooring in the wet basin and was carefully planned to optimise conditions and tides.
Transporting the RRS Sir David Attenborough to the wet basin is a significant step in the construction process as it marks the completion of the external structures and the installation of all the hull-mounted equipment.
Now the ship is in the wet basin, fitting out will continue. This includes installing electric cabling, equipment and furnishing to complete the interior spaces. In addition, the ship will undergo a series of tests to ensure the switchboards, generator and systems such as the bridge dynamic positioning and main propulsion are operating correctly, ready for the trials period.