The RRS Sir David Attenborough, now beginning its sea trials, is the largest vessel yet by builder Cammell Laird, taking four years at a cost of £200 million. Heading from Birkenhead to Liverpool, it will depart along the Welsh coast to Holyhead, where it will be stationed for the coming year.
There, tests will be undertaken with all the vessel's systems and equipment before departing to the Arctic and the Antarctic, accommodating dozens of researchers within its 129m-long, 15,000-tonne capacity. The vessel is the largest commercial ship built in Britain in 30 years, including a helipad, cranes and onboard labs, the ability to deploy subs and other ocean-survey and sampling equipment, and an enclosed "moon pool" to sample ocean water.
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