The giant floating restaurant that has graced Hong Kong’s waterfront for decades capsized while being towed in the South China Sea, and it may or may not have sunk to the sea floor.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, an iconic multi-storey restaurant built on a barge, has been one of Aberdeen Harbor’s most significant landmarks for five decades. Over the years, it has hosted over 30 million guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise, Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li. He has starred in many local and international films, including ‘Enter the Dragon’ , “Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge” and the Stephen Chow comedy “God of Cookery”.
The pandemic forced the restaurant to close in 2020, with severe effects on its finances, and parent company Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises ultimately decided to tow it to another location.
On June 14, the Jumbo left the port of Hong Kong, towed by the South Korean tug Jaewan 9. On Sunday, however, the gigantic ship capsized after encountering bad weather off the Paracel Islands, the owner reported.
“Despite the efforts of the towing company responsible for the voyage to save the vessel, it unfortunately capsized on Sunday,” Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said in a statement. The firm said rescue would be “extremely difficult” as it capsized in 1,000 meters of water. The ship was widely reported as “sunk”.
The company said that, in accordance with regulations, professional marine engineers were hired to thoroughly inspect the hull and install palisades on the vessel before it departed with the voyage, obtaining all relevant approvals.
“Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises is very saddened by this accident. The company is now obtaining further details of the accident from the towing company,” the statement read.
Despite reports of its loss, it appears that the Jumbo Floating Restaurant is still floating. The Hong Kong Marine Department reported on Thursday that “Jumbo and the tug are still in the waters off [Paracel Islands]A representative for Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises confirmed to Bloomberg on Friday that the vessel had capsized but was still afloat.
tug operator Jaewan 9 told the SCMP that any rumors of foul play in the victim were “ridiculous” and that the accident may have happened due to damage from strong waves.