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ECOSPEED TAKES TO THE MERSEY

The hull of the polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough took to the water on Saturday protected by the most environmentally-safe hull coating ever developed – Subsea Industries’ biofouling-reducing 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.”

When the vessel is delivered to British Antarctic Survey in 2019, it will undertake world-leading environmental research into climate change and ocean protection. As such, the vessel required a fully ice-strengthened coating, without being harmful to the environment. “Ecospeed fulfils that requirement,” said Hof.  

“Ecospeed is a safe, hard-type coating with zero metallic 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 completely mitigates against the leaching of 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, I am pleased to say, Ecospeed is one.”

The 15,000gt research vessel, scheduled for operational duties in 2019, will be one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. The 128m long vessel will be capable of 60 days at sea without re-supply, covering a range of 18,898 nautical miles at 13 knots.

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