THE NAME of a British research ship is in the hands of the general public and this, it transpires, is a dangerous thing. Suggestions and votes have been flooding in for RRS Boaty McBoatface and coming in a close second was a suggestion by a Spaniard for the ship to be named RSS Blas de Lezo, named after one of Spain’s most legendary seafarers.
De Lezo was a one legged, one-armed and one-eyed admiral responsible for leading the Spanish fleet in 1741 at the Battle of Cartagena de Indias in modern-day Colombia, where he defeated a fleet of a dozen British warships.
The mocking entry for the ship to be named RRS Blas de Lezo, was suggested by Joaqui Andreu who proposed it in recognition of a sailor who “made great contributions to British undersea research”. The entry collected more than 38,000 votes but has subsequently been taken down by The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
NERC originally came up with the idea of creating a competition and trusting the voting public to name their new £200m research vessel which unfortunately may leave organisers as red in the face as the paint on their new ship due to the numerous outrageous or silly name suggestions.
The current leading suggestion is for the ship to be named RRS Boaty McBoatface a suggestion made by Brit James Hand.
NERC earlier in the week recommended names such as: “Shackleton. Endeavour. Falcon.” But these suggestions fell on deaf ears.
NERC also commented: “Tonne-for-tonne, the ship – together with NERC’s existing two blue water research ships – will provide the UK with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will help put the UK at the forefront of ocean research for years to come.”
Other names suggested for the research vessel, which will study marine life, ocean currents and the marine environment, include RRS ItsBloodyColdHere, RRS Usain Boat and RRS Boatimus Prime.