Famed ‘Floating Restaurant’ in Hong Kong Capsized, Sinks

Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant, Jumbo Kingdom, capsized in the South China Sea over the weekend. It was being towed to an unspecified location at the time. According to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, the restaurant’s parent company, the 46-year-old three story vessel encountered extreme weather conditions on Saturday.

It then partially sunk near the Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands.

On Sunday attempts to save the restaurant failed. The floating restaurant then completely sunk. Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises says attempts to salvage the vessel will be demanding. That’s due to the fact that it sunk more than 3,280 feet.

The company says that no crew members were injured in the accident.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW IMAGE:

This photo taken on June 13, 2022 shows a kitchen barge (L) attached to the main section of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant sitting on its side after capsizing, in the typhoon shelter near Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong island. – Local newspapers have reported the restaurant, which has been closed due to Covid-19 and lack of tourists since 2020, will exit the city after its owner suffered extensive losses. (Photo by Bertha WANG / AFP) (Photo by BERTHA WANG/AFP via Getty Images)

Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises released a statement about the lost vessel. “The company is now getting further details of the accident from the towing company,” the statement read. “Due to the impact of the current situation, Jumbo Kingdom will suspend its services,” was posted on Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Ltd. webpage Monday.

The floating restaurant was one of Hong Kong’s most iconic tourist attractions

The floating restaurant was one of Hong Kong’s most iconic tourist attractions. That was prior to the pandemic, which forced it to stop operating in March of 2020. Prior to its closing it had suffered years of losses. Those losses are said to total more than $13 million.

Attempts to save the historic restaurant were unsuccessful. The high maintenance costs scared off any potential investors.

News of the restaurant leaving the city’s southwest waters after several decades upset many in Hong Kong who grew up near the iconic restaurant. All that remains docked in the harbor now is a smaller and older boat called Tai Pak and a recently capsized kitchen boat. Tai Pak dates back to 1952.

At the height of its power, the Jumbo Kingdom held more than 2,300 diners at full capacity in the 45,000 square foot restaurant.

Over the years many celebrities visited the Jumbo Kingdom

The restaurant was opened by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho back in 1976. The opening of the massive floating restaurant was delayed by a fire five years prior that killed 34 people and injured many others.

Over the years many celebrities visited the Jumbo Kingdom. Among them was actor Tom Cruise, the late singer David Bowie and Queen Elizabeth II. It also was featured in a James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. And made an appearance in the global pandemic movie Contagion.

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