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‘Boaty McBoatface’ tops poll to name U.K. polar research vessel

Put forward by a BBC radio host, the name for the US$284 million ship attracted nearly 125,000 votes, three-times its closest competitor


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PHOTO: NERC

Though radio host James Hand apologized for the suggestion, saying he voted to name the ship after naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, online voters overwhelmingly chose ‘Boaty McBoatface.’ PHOTO: NERC

LONDON, U.K.—Boaty McBoatface has topped an online poll to name the U.K.’s newest polar research vessel, beating entries that honoured scientists and explorers.

Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council had asked for help finding a name that would reflect the 200 million-pound ($284 million) ship’s mission and celebrate British naval history.

The council asked for inspirational entries about environmental and polar science. But in the contest ending Saturday, Boaty McBoatface won with 124,109 votes—more than three times its closest contender. The vote was advisory and the name will be decided by the council.

Former BBC radio host James Hand, who proposed the winning entry, has apologized for the controversy, though he still thinks it’s a “brilliant name.” He voted to name the ship after naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.


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