The iconic Hong Kong Jumbo Floating Restaurant is now at the bottom of the South China Sea about a week after it was transported from its original location, according to its parent company. So what exactly happened?
According to the company, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Ltd. said that the restaurant faced “adverse conditions” when it was passing through the Xisha Islands, also called the Paracel Islands, while water began to flood the vessel. The restaurant eventually tipped over.
Luckily, nobody was injured when the restaurant sank. Efforts were made to try to save it, but they were not successful, and the entire thing capsized.
The company said in a statement: “As the water depth at the scene is over 1,000 meters, (it makes it) extremely difficult to carry out salvage works.” It also said that the company is “very saddened by this accident.”
The statement also said: “The company is now getting further details of the accident from the towing company.”
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which was 260 feet long, was an iconic structure and had been a landmark for over 40 years. It offered up Cantonese cuisine to over 3 million guests, including Tom Cruise and Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2020, the restaurant closed, like many other businesses, due to the pandemic. The entire staff were laid off, and Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said that it was a financial burden to shareholders. The company said that the restaurant cost millions of Hong Kong dollars for maintenance and inspection even while it was not operational.
Its move was meant to be moved to a lower cost location where it could be maintained. It was said to be inspected by marine engineers, hoardings were installed, and all the needed approvals were given.