Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant sinks in South China Sea | Business and Economy

Famed vacationer attraction capsizes close to the Paracel Islands after encountering “adversarial situations”.

Jumbo floating restaurant, a as soon as famed however financially struggling Hong Kong vacationer attraction, sank within the South China Sea after being towed away from the town, its mum or dad firm stated.

It capsized on Sunday close to the Paracel Islands after it “encountered adversarial situations” and commenced to tackle water, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises introduced in an announcement on Monday.

“The water depth on the scene is over 1,000 meters, making it extraordinarily troublesome to hold out salvage works,” it added.

The corporate stated it was “very saddened by the incident” however that no crew members had been injured.

It stated marine engineers had been employed to examine the floating restaurant and set up hoardings on the vessel earlier than the journey, and that “all related approvals” had been obtained.

The restaurant closed in March 2020, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the ultimate straw after virtually a decade of economic woes.

Operator Melco Worldwide Improvement stated final month the enterprise had not been worthwhile since 2013, and cumulative losses had exceeded 100 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($12.7m).

It was nonetheless costing hundreds of thousands in upkeep charges yearly, and a couple of dozen companies and organisations had declined an invite to take it over at no cost, Melco added.

It introduced final month that, forward of its licence expiration in June, Jumbo would go away Hong Kong and await a brand new operator at an undisclosed location.

The restaurant set off shortly earlier than midday final Tuesday from the southern Hong Kong Island storm shelter the place it had sat for practically half a century.

Opened in 1976 by the late on line casino tycoon Stanley Ho, it embodied the peak of luxurious in its glory days, reportedly costing greater than 30 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($3.8m) to construct.

Designed like a Chinese language imperial palace and as soon as thought-about a must-see landmark, the restaurant drew guests from Queen Elizabeth II to Tom Cruise.

It additionally featured in a number of movies — together with Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion”, a couple of lethal international pandemic.

Jumbo’s departure from Hong Kong was met with remorse and nostalgia from many Hong Kong residents.

Some on-line commentators described photos of the floating palace crusing throughout a charcoal gray ocean in direction of the horizon as a metaphor for Hong Kong’s future.

The town has seen harsh pandemic restrictions put its standing as a global hub in danger, whereas a nationwide safety legislation imposed by Beijing has stifled dissent, remoulding Hong Kong in China’s authoritarian picture.