Hong Kong: The harbour city’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea less than a week after it was towed away from the city.
The restaurant encountered “adverse conditions” on Saturday as it was passing the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, and water entered the vessel and it began to tip, according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises.
The company said no one was injured, but that efforts to save the vessel failed, and it capsized on Sunday.
“As the water depth at the scene is over 1,000 metres, (it makes it) extremely difficult to carry out salvage works,” it said in a statement.
It said the company “is very saddened by this accident”.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, almost 80 metres in length, had been a landmark in Hong Kong for over four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to over 3 million guests including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise.
Its elaborate red-and-gold interiors have been used in several films, most recently the 2011 pandemic film Contagion, where it was used to film the dinner that unleashed a virus upon the world.
It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and laid off all its staff. Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said the restaurant became a financial burden to its shareholders, with millions of Hong Kong dollars spent on its inspection and maintenance even though it was not in operation.