Research ship Sir David Attenborough departs for sea trials

Photo: Cammell Laird
Photo: Cammell Laird

The UK-flagged polar research ship Sir David Attenborough has departed Cammell Laird shipyard to conduct technical sea trials.

In November, the vessel will be handed over to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

The trials will be conducted off the coast of North Wales over a period of two weeks. Shipyard engineers and BAS crew will put the vessel through its paces, performing operational checks on the propulsion, steering, engineering, and navigation systems.

When the technical tests are complete, the BAS ship crew will take over and spend 50 days intensive training at Holyhead Port before embarking on operational and scientific equipment trials around the Irish Sea. The team will test anchoring, manoeuvring, dynamic positioning, and helideck landing.

The ship will undertake ice trials in the Arctic in early 2021 and will sail on its maiden voyage to Antarctica the following November.

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