Irma Sluis Sluis: World's largest sea lock could be named for sign interpreter

The largest sea lock in the world, currently being built in IJmuiden, may be named after sign language interpreter Irma Sluis. The municipality of Velsen and public works department Rijkswaterstaat asked Netherlands residents to nominate names, and Irma Sluis was nominated remarkably often, a spokesperson for the municipality said to AD.

Sluis gained national fame because she was the sign language interpreter that assisted Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health during their coronavirus press conferences. As an added bonus, 'sluis' is also the Dutch word for the 'lock' in sea lock. On social media, people are lobbying to get Irma Sluis' name on the top of the list. "She connects like a lock," is a popular argument for naming the sea lock after her.

Another popular name often nominated is "Sluis McSluisface" - a nod to Boaty McBoatface, the name given to a super expensive and ultra modern British submarine after the British government asked citizens to help name it. 

Netherlands residents can nominate names for the sea lock until August 4. After that, the naming committee will compile a list of up to 100 options, which will be submitted to the local residents association. They will pick out their five favorites, from which the mayor and aldermen of Velsen will pick a name for the sea lock.

This sea lock is the largest in the world at 500 meters long, 70 meters wide, and 18 meters deep. The intention is for the lock to be put into use in early 2022.

Mark Rutte and Sing language interpreter Irma Sluis
Mark Rutte and Sing language interpreter Irma Sluis at the coronavirus update news conference on June 24, 2020RVD / Minister-PresidentFacebook