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RRS Sir David Attenborough off the North Coast of Ireland Today

15th February 2021
The 15,000-ton RRS Sir David Attenborough The 15,000-ton RRS Sir David Attenborough Credit: RSPB Rathlin Island Reserve

If you're on the North Coast of Ireland today keep an eye out for the RRS Sir David Attenborough says RSPB Rathlin Island Reserve.

This ship is the UK's brand new polar research vessel, and it will be off the seven-mile-long Benone Strand in County Londonderry from 10 am before it heads east to Portrush Bay in the afternoon. The ship will be doing trials and testing on its tender deployment and recovery systems.

The 15,000-ton ship is 129 metres long with a beam of 24m and has a range of 19,000 nautical miles at 13 knots (24 km/h) cruising speed; more than enough for a return trip from England to Rothera Research Station, or to circle the entire Antarctic continent twice. It has icebreaking capability – up to 1m thick at 3 knots (5.6 km/h). She can carry a helicopter, has a crew of about 30 and accommodation for up to 60 scientists and support staff.

RRS Sir David Attenborough is a research vessel owned by the Natural Environment Research Council and operated by the British Antarctic Survery.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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