The RSS Boaty McBoatface — a name the public had enthusiastically bestowed on a British polar research ship via online voting — died Friday. It was 20 days old.
In its wake, British officials have rebranded the vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough, overriding the internet vote. The public was asked last month to choose a name for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) vessel. And, as the internet tends to do, it overtook the poll with the amusing "Boaty McBoatface" moniker, making it the runaway winner with more than 124,000 votes.
But on Friday, the U.K.'s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced it would suppress the people's choice, instead naming the ship after David Attenborough, a beloved British naturalist. The RRS Sir David Attenborough received some 11,000 votes in the poll, according to NBC News.
THE EXIT POLLS SHOWED BOATY MCBOATFACE WINNING https://t.co/CYBkQW38lu
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) May 6, 2016
"The public provided some truly inspirational and creative names, and while it was a difficult decision, I'm delighted that our state-of-the-art polar research ship will be named after one of the nation's most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists," said Jo Johnson, universities and science minister, in a statement Friday.
But while Boaty McBoatface, the $289 million, 419-foot ship died Friday, the name was revived in a much smaller form. In a nod to the will of the voters, the NERC announced the name would "live on as the name of one of the high-tech remotely operated sub-sea vehicles."
"The new Polar Explorer program will continue to inspire future generations in this important area of environmental science," NERC Chief Executive Duncan Wingham said. "We are also very happy to recognize the overall popular choice through naming one of the ship's robotic vehicles Boaty McBoatface."
Pictured below is the type of vessel that will carry the proud McBoatface name: