A STATE-OF-THE-ART polar research ship should be called Boaty McBoatface say more than 16,500 people who voted for the name online.
James Hand, who put the suggestion forward, described it as ‘an absolutely brilliant name’.
Other ideas include RRS (Royal Research Ship) David Attenborough, RRS Usain Bolt, RRS Boat, RRS Pingu and RRS It’s Bl**dy Cold Here.
The nomination RRS Henry Worsley, after the explorer who died trying to make the first unassisted solo crossing of the Antarctic in January, is currently the second most popular with around 2,400 votes.
The £200m vessel will set off for Antarctica in 2019 and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invited the public to submit ideas for the name it should bear on its hull.
Once completed the ship, funded by the Government and under construction at Cammell Laird shipyard, Merseyside, will be deployed on research missions to the Arctic and Antarctic and be able to spend up to 60 days at sea.
The NERC asks for the names suggested to be inspirational, such as a historical figure, landmark or movement, and not names of ships which already exist, such as Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Entrants can suggest as many names as they wish, with a short explanation why, at http://nameourship.nerc.ac.uk by April 16 this year and NERC will make the decision.
The ship is not connected to the Royal Navy, which has it’s own ice patrol and survey ship, HMS Protector.