Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea less than a week after being towed away from the city, its parent company says.
- The floating restaurant capsized after taking on the water near the Xisha Islands
- It was towed out of Hong Kong Harbor on June 14, having ceased business in 2020
- While in service, its guests included Queen Elizabeth II and actor Tom Cruise
The restaurant encountered “adverse conditions” on Saturday as it was passing the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, and water entered the vessel and it began to tip, according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises.
The company said no-one was injured, but efforts to save the vessel failed and it capsized on Sunday.
“As the water depth at the scene is over 1,000 meters, [it makes it] extremely difficult to carry out salvage works,” it said in a statement.
It said the company was “very saddened by this accident”.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, almost 80 meters in length, was a Hong Kong landmark for over four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to more than 3 million guests, including Queen Elizabeth II and actor Tom Cruise.
It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, laying off all its staff.
Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said the restaurant became a financial burden to its shareholders, with millions of Hong Kong dollars spent on its inspection and maintenance even though it was not in operation.
The restaurant was towed away last Tuesday, with the company saying it planned to move it to a lower-cost site where maintenance could be carried out.
It said that prior to its departure, the vessel had been thoroughly inspected by marine engineers, hoardings were installed, and all relevant approvals were obtained.
“The company is now getting further details of the accident from the towing company,” the statement said.