The hull of the polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough was officially launched in July 2018, protected by the most environmentally-safe hull coating ever developed: Subsea Industries’ ice-abrasion resistant and washable Ecospeed.
Commenting on the success of the vessel’s launch into the River Mersey from the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Manuel Hof, Subsea Industries’ production executive, said: “RRS Sir David Attenborough is now afloat with a hull protected by the same Ecospeed coating that has protected its sisters, Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross, for many years. It was incredibly exciting to watch the launch of this important vessel.”
The vessel began her sea trials in October 2020 and officially began her maiden voyage to Antarctica on 16 November 2021. The sea and ice trials were successfully completed in March 2022 and will return to the UK. The ship is destined to undertake world-leading environmental research into climate change and ocean protection. As such, she required a fully ice-strengthened hull coating which would not be harmful to the environment. “Ecospeed fulfils that requirement,” said Hof.
She required a fully ice-strengthened hull coating which would not be harmful to the environment. “Ecospeed fulfils that requirement.”
Made for the ice
“Ecospeed is a safe, hard-type coating with zero toxic compounds. It eliminates the potential pollution of polar waters with heavy metals or biocides and hull contamination during research activities, which is extremely important to the scientific work the vessel will carry out.
“The hard coating leaches no chemicals into the marine environment,” said Hof.
Subsea Industries’ Chairman, Boud Van Rompay, said: “We are delighted that Cammell Laird and BAS have successfully launched RRS Sir David Attenborough. The vessel is a showcase for an array of sophisticated technologies and systems, of which Ecospeed is one.”
The 15,000gt research ship is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. It is 128m long and about 24m wide and will be capable of 60 days at sea without re-supply, covering a range of 18,898 nautical miles at 13 knots.