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Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil of the band Soundgarden pour champagne off the bow of the SoundGuardian research vessel with King County Executive Dow Constantine on Wednesday in Seattle. (Via Twitter @kcexec)

Members of the Seattle band Soundgarden stepped aboard a new research vessel to help christen it on Wednesday months after its name — SoundGuardian — was inspired in part by the grunge legends.

The name for King County’s new 48-foot, twin-hulled environmental research vessel was announced in January after a naming contest drew 319 votes. SoundGuardian led the way with 178 votes. The runners up were “Cascadia,” with 126 votes, and “SeaKing,” with 15 votes.

According to the county’s news release, Environmental Laboratory field scientists will use the SoundGuardian “to collect water quality data in Puget Sound, Lake Washington and the Duwamish River. The new vessel, which will replace the 40-year-old Liberty, will be cleaner, more efficient and safer to operate in rough waters.”

Tweets on Wednesday by King County Executive Dow Constantine and others showed Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and guitarist Kim Thayil aboard the vessel and pouring champagne off the bow.

Fittingly, Soundgarden got it’s name from “A Sound Garden,” a large sculpture on the grounds of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration campus on the shore of Lake Washington near Magnuson Park.

The county said the winning SoundGuardian name was submitted by Bruce Kessler, who lives in unincorporated south King County. He will receive a commemorative plaque and a tour of the vessel.

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