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Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant sinks more than 1000 metres into the sea


The iconic Jumbo floating restaurant, a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong, sank more than 1000 metres in the South China sea. The restaurant’s main boat capsized after it encountered adverse conditions near the Paracel Islands.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant (Photo: AFP/File)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hong Kong’s Jumbo restaurant sank in South China sea
  • The restaurant’s main boat sank more than 1,000 metres into the sea
  • No crew members were injured

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo restaurant sank more than 1000 metres in the South China Sea, making it very difficult to carry out the salvage work. The famed Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong capsized after it encountered ‘adverse conditions’ in the South China Sea. The vessel sank when it was being towed away by tugboats from its home of 46 years. However, no crew members were injured in the incident.

Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said that the restaurant’s main boat was travelling to an undisclosed shipyard when it capsized on Saturday after meeting ‘adverse conditions’ in the South China Sea.

Once touted as the world’s largest floating restaurant, Jumbo Kingdom featured in many Hong Kong and international movies and also hosted various dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, Jimmy Carter and Tom Cruise. The restaurant was famous for its grand Imperial-style facade, neon lights, huge commissioned paintings in the stairwell and its colourful Chinese-style motifs.

Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, in an official statement, said that it was very saddened by the incident. As calls for the investigation as to what led to the sinking grew louder, the Hong Kong government sought a report from owners on how the vessel capzised in the sea, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

RESTAURANT SUFFERED LOSSES

Since 2013, the restaurant group started suffering a deficit as the fishing population in the island’s southern harbor diminished. In March 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the owners announced that losses had piled up to $13 million and announced that the restaurant would be closed until further notice.

Though several proposals were announced to revive the restaurant, the high maintenance fees every year deterred potential investors. After months of Covid-19 restrictions, its parent company was unable to find a new owner and lacked the funds to maintain it.

Jumbo’s departure from Hong Kong was nostalgia from many Hong Kong residents. Residents said their goodbyes to the iconic Jumbo restaurant on Tuesday (June 14) as it was towed away by tugboats from its home of 46 years. Some also shared farewell messages and fond memories of past visits.

(With agency inputs)



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