HONG KONG (Reuters) – 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 said on Monday.
The restaurant encountered ‘adverse conditions’ on Saturday as it sailed past the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, and water entered the vessel and it started to tip over, according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Ltd.
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 more than 1,000 meters, (this makes) extremely difficult to carry out salvage work,” he said in a statement.
The company “is very saddened by this accident”.
The nearly 80-meter (260-foot) long Jumbo floating restaurant was a Hong Kong landmark for more than four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to more than 3 million diners, including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise. .
It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and laid off all of its staff. Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said the restaurant had become a financial burden on 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 last Tuesday. The company said it plans to move it to a lower cost site where maintenance can be done.
He said that before he left, the ship had been thoroughly inspected by marine engineers and hoardings had been installed, and all relevant approvals had been obtained.
“The company is now obtaining further details of the accident from the towing company,” the statement said.