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Hong Kong’s famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant capsizes at sea

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant is towed away in Hong Kong on June 14 (AP)

Hong Kong’s famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea less than a week after it was towed away from the city, its parent company said.

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, according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises.

The vessel began to tip after water entered it. The company said no-one was injured, but efforts to save the vessel failed and it capsized on Sunday.

The restaurant’s parent company failed to find a new owner and lacked funds to maintain the establishment amid months of Covid-19 restrictions (AP)

“As the water depth at the scene is over 1,000 metres (3,280ft), (it makes it) extremely difficult to carry out salvage works,” the firm said in a statement.

The company said it “is very saddened by this accident”.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, almost 80 metres (260ft) in length, had been a landmark in Hong Kong for more than four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to more than three million guests, including the Queen and Tom Cruise.

It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and laid off all its staff.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing (AP)

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.

The restaurant was towed away last Tuesday. The company said it planned to move it to a lower-cost site where maintenance could be carried out.

It said that prior to its departure, the vessel had been thoroughly inspected by marine engineers and hoardings were installed, and all relevant approvals were obtained.

“The company is now getting further details of the accident from the towing company,” the statement said.