Hong Kong's iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant has sunk over 1000 metres deep into the South China Sea, according to its parent company Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises. The firm has stated that at this point, carrying out salvage work will be extremely difficult.
The restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea less than a week after it was towed away by tugboats from its home of 46 years. According to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, no crew member was injured in the incident.
It further added that the floating restaurant's main boat was travelling to the undisclosed shipyard when it capsized on Saturday. The boat met with 'adverse conditions' as it was passing through the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea. Water entered the boat and it began to tip.
The firm added that it was it is very saddened by this accident, reported Associated Press.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant was once said to be the world's largest floating restaurant. It featured in many of Hong Kong's and international movies and also hosted various dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, Jimmy Carter and Tom Cruise. The floating restaurant is remembered for its grand Imperial-style facade, neon lights, huge commissioned paintings in the stairwell as well as its colourful Chinese-style motifs.
Like many other businesses, the floating restaurant had closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It also laid off all of its staff. Its parent firm has stated that the floating restaurant had become a financial hassle for its shareholders as millions of Hong Kong dollars were being spent to maintain the structure even though it was not being operated.
The firm has planned to move the floating restaurant to a lower-cost site where maintenance work could have been carried out. The floating restaurant was towed away on June 14.
The firm added that prior to being towed away, marine engineers carried out a thorough inspection of the vessel. It explained that hoardings were installed, and the firm obtained all relevant approvals.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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