Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant sinks at sea

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One of Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks – a large floating restaurant known for its lavish banquet halls and neon lights – has capsized in the South China Sea, its parent company said on Monday.

The Jumbo floating restaurant – also known as Jumbo Kingdom – was towed from the city last week after closing during the pandemic. The vessel hit adverse weather on Sunday and capsized near the Paracel Islands, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said in a statement, adding that no crew members were injured.

The sprawling 260-foot-long boat has spent nearly half a century in Hong Kong waters, hosting “many international dignitaries and celebrities”, including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise, according to the Jumbo Kingdom website. .

Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises has previously said it cannot afford the cost of maintenance – with millions spent on inspections and repairs to meet licensing requirements. The Hong Kong government, under chief executive Carrie Lam, has rejected calls to offer temporary financial relief.

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“We have made it clear that the government has no intention of investing money in the operation of the restaurant as we are not good at running such premises,” Lam said.

Even before the pandemic, the restaurant, which served Cantonese dishes, was racking up debt. But Hong Kong’s early decision to ban tourists has hit Jumbo Kingdom and other attractions hard.

Earlier this month, before being towed, the restaurant’s 130ft galley flotilla broke off the back of the boat and sank in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Typhoon shelter.

It was unclear exactly where Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises planned to take the restaurant before it sank. A company spokesperson told the South China Morning Post that the vessel was being towed somewhere in Southeast Asia.

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Post expires at 2:57am on Friday July 1st, 2022

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