Giant Floating Hong Kong Restaurant Tips Over In South China Sea

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Topline

Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant—a popular tourist attraction that welcomed celebrities and politicians including Tom Cruise and Queen Elizabeth II—capsized in the South China Sea on Sunday a week after leaving the city for an unannounced destination, the restaurant’s owner said.

Key Facts

Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, the restaurant’s parent company, said in a statement the floating restaurant encountered poor conditions after passing the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea Saturday, and the vessel began to tip.

Despite efforts to rescue the boat, it capsized on Sunday, the company said, adding no crew members were injured.

The company said it was “very saddened by this accident,” adding the water’s depth of more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) made it challenging to save the vessel, according to the Associated Press.

Big Number

More than 30 million. That’s how many people have visited Jumbo Kingdom, which includes both the nearly 260-foot long Jumbo Floating Restaurant and the neighboring Tai Pak Floating Restaurant.

Key Background

Jumbo Floating Restaurant shut down during the pandemic and laid off all its staff, according to AP. The vessel—which had served Cantonese food to millions of visitors for over 40 years—never reopened due to months of Covid restrictions that sparked financial woes as the restaurant racked up high maintenance costs. Its parent company, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, struggled to find a new owner. The company announced it would move the vessel to a cheaper site at an undisclosed location, and a towing company took the boat away last Tuesday. Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises is reaching out to the towing company for more details on the incident, it said in a statement, according to AP.

Tangent

The floating restaurant has appeared in several films over the years, including Jackie Chan’s The Protector and Contagion.

Further Reading

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant capsizes at sea (AP)

Victim of pandemic, Hong Kong floating restaurant towed away (AP)

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