Less than a week after being dragged out to sea, one of the biggest floating restaurants in the world sank.
After 46 years of continuous service in the Aberdeen harbour in the area, the Jumbo restaurant became a well-known landmark in Hong Kong.
Despite its fame, the restaurant had to close due to the pandemic in March 2020, and on Tuesday, June 14, it was taken away by tugboats to an undisclosed destination.
However, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, the parent company of Jumbo, claimed in a statement on Monday, 20 June, that the movable ship encountered “adverse weather conditions” during the weekend as it travelled through the South China Sea.
The moment water entered the carrier as it passed the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, it was game over.
“It is exceedingly difficult to carry out salvage efforts at the location due to the water depth of over 1,000 metres,” the company claimed.
Fortunately, no one was wounded in the tragedy, but it undoubtedly delivered the proprietors and the numerous customers who had the opportunity to enjoy the hotspot throughout the years a heartbreaking blow.
The accident left Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises “extremely devastated,” and the company is currently gathering more information to determine what went wrong.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which offered Cantonese cuisine and was an 80-meter-long, three-story barge, used to be the biggest of its kind in the entire globe.
Over the course of its 46-year existence at the harbour, the restaurant has drawn millions of visitors. Its distinctive appearance has also appeared in a number of movies, including Jackie Chan’s The Protector and the James Bond movie Man with the Golden Gun.
The Queen, Tom Cruise, and Richard Branson are just a few of the well-known people that have stopped through.
Although the pandemic seemed to be what spurred Jumbo’s demise, its owner, Melco International Development, subsequently claimed that financial difficulties had been at the company since 2013.
Melco reportedly stated last month: “At the moment, there is no suitable shipyard in Hong Kong that can cater to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, and the three-times-a-year full check and repair cannot be carried out.
While we wait for a new operator and a fresh start, we are now seeking for a suitable parking place to save costs.
Lo Kin-hei, a former leader of the territory’s Southern District Council, worried at the time that if the restaurant left the harbour, it would “never return.”
According to him, the Southern district’s residents’ collective memory is represented by the Jumbo Kingdom. “I don’t understand how the arrangement permitting Ocean Park to keep running the restaurant can just vanish like it’s nothing,” said the author.