In order to slide the ship effectively into the water, temporary fixtures under the hull have been attached to shoes. These will glide the 'Attenborough' down the river.

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Once the RRS Sir David Attenborough becomes fully operational in late 2019, it  will be operated by British Antarctic Survey for the entire UK polar science community.

She will operate in both Antarctica and the Arctic, undertaking research cruises and resupplying research stations.

The 'Sir David Attenborough' was originally going to be named 'Boaty McBoatface' in an online poll, before ministers decided to choose a more appropriate name. It represents the largest commercial ship built in Britain in 30 years.

As Claire Biggar, assistant ship manager at Cammell Laird,  informed, the vessel is structurally complete, while the outfitting is underway.

The ship is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (part of UK Research and Innovation).