FINAL FAREWELL This June 14, 2022 file photograph exhibits an aerial view of Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant being towed out of Aberdeen Harbor. AFP PHOTO
HONG KONG: The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, a once-famed however financially struggling Hong Kong vacationer attraction, sank within the South China Sea after being towed away from town, its father or mother firm mentioned on Monday.
It capsized on Sunday close to the Paracel Islands after it “encountered adversarial circumstances” and started to tackle water, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises introduced in a press release.
“The water depth on the scene is over 1,000 meters, making it extraordinarily tough to hold out salvage works,” it added.
The corporate mentioned it was “very saddened by the incident,” however added that no crew members had been injured.
Marine engineers had been employed to examine the floating restaurant and set up hoardings on the vessel earlier than the journey, and “all related approvals” had been obtained, in response to Aberdeen.
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 Growth mentioned final month the restaurant had not been worthwhile since 2013 and cumulative losses had exceeded HK$100 million ($12.7 million).
It was nonetheless costing hundreds of thousands in upkeep charges yearly and a few dozen companies and organizations had declined an invite to take it over at no cost, it added.
It introduced final month that forward of its license expiration in June, Jumbo would depart 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 hurricane shelter, the place it had sat for practically half a century.
Opened in 1976 by the late on line casino tycoon Stanley Ho, in its glory days, it embodied the peak of luxurious, reportedly costing greater than HK$30 million to construct.
Designed like a Chinese language imperial palace and as soon as thought-about a must-see landmark, the restaurant drew guests from the UK’s Queen Elizabeth 2 to Hollywood star Tom Cruise.
It is usually featured in a number of movies, together with Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” a few lethal 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.
Town has seen harsh pandemic restrictions put its standing as a global hub in danger, whereas a nationwide safety regulation imposed by Beijing has stifled dissent, remolding Hong Kong in China’s authoritarian picture.