RRS Sir David Attenborough heads for open sea
UPDATE: Britain’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, today (Tuesday 17 November 2020) arrives at Holyhead Port following its technical trials.
Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the new polar ship will transform UK research in the polar regions, its missions are critical for understanding and making sense of our changing climate.
During the technical trials, the ship’s crew and Cammell Laird engineers put the ship through its paces performing operational checks on the propulsion, steering, engineering and navigation systems.
Later this month, the ship will be handed over to NERC and BAS. The BAS crew will take over and spend 50 days intensive training at Holyhead Port, familiarising themselves with the ship and its equipment and conducting safety drills. The ship will then embark on further operational and scientific trials. The team will test anchoring, manoeuvring, dynamic positioning and helideck landing.
Early next year the ship will undertake ice trials in the Arctic, and in November 2021 make its maiden voyage to Antarctica.
The new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, left Liverpool cruise terminal on 3 November 2020 to begin technical trials. The ship and crew were held at the terminal for a few days due to a storm off the west coast. Although the ship will be capable of sailing through rough conditions in the Southern Ocean, her sophisticated power management and stabilisation systems require several days in calm seas to balance and optimise performance.