THE British Antarctic Survey’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, has berthed at Orthios Jetty, Holyhead Port during a break in trials off the North Wales coast.

The ship has completed its first series of technical tests and shortly after arrival will be handed over from the builders, Cammell Laird shipyard, to the Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While operating in North Wales waters prior to arriving at Holyhead, the ship’s propulsion, steering, engineering and navigation systems were all calibrated.

A spokesperson for the BAS said: “The crew will spend approximately 50 days intensive training at Holyhead, including safety drills, familiarisation, helicopter deck certification and stocking and stowing the ship. The stay will also include the completion of her interior fitting out.

“She is programmed to sail early next year for ice trials in the Arctic, and in November 2021 make her maiden voyage to Antarctica.

“In Antarctica her role will be to support scientists conducting vital research in the polar regions.”

The spokesperson added: “The RRS Sir David Attenborough is a multidisciplinary research platform that will transform how shipborne science is conducted in the polar regions and provide scientists with state of the art facilities to research the oceans, seafloor, ice and atmosphere.”