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One of the world's largest floating restaurants capsized less than a week after it was towed out to sea.
The Jumbo restaurant was a famous landmark in Hong Kong, having been kept stationed at the region's Aberdeen harbour for 46 years.
Despite its notoriety, the eatery was forced to shutdown in March 2020 amid the pandemic, and last Tuesday, 14 June, it was hauled away by tugboats to an unnamed location.
But Jumbo's parent company Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said in a statement on Monday, 20 June, the floating vessel faced 'adverse weather conditions' over the weekend as it travelled through the South China Sea.
It was game over when water made its way into the carrier as it passed Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands, and it began to tip over.
The firm explained: "The water depth at the scene is over 1,000 metres, making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works."
Thankfully no one was hurt as a result of the incident, although it's understandably dealt a devastating blow to the owners and the many diners who had the chance to enjoy the hotspot over the years.
Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said it was 'very saddened by this accident' and is now gathering more details about what went wrong.
As an 80-metre-long, three-storey vessel, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which served Cantonese food, was once the world's largest of its kind.
Drawing in millions of guests over its 46-year run at the habour, the eatery's distinct aesthetic has also been featured in a number of films including the James Bond film Man with the Golden Gun and Jackie Chan's The Protector.
It's attracted some big name visitors too, including the Queen, Tom Cruise and Richard Branson, among others.
Although the pandemic appeared to be the catalyst for Jumbo's closure, operator Melco International Development recently said the business had been suffering financially since 2013.
As reported by Hong Kong publication The Standard, Melco said last month: "Currently, there's no suitable shipyard in Hong Kong that can cater to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, and the thrice-a-year comprehensive check and repair cannot be conducted.
"[We're] now looking for a suitable parking space to lower costs while waiting for a new operator and a new start."
The former chairman of the territory's Southern District Council, Lo Kin-hei, expressed concerns at the time that the restaurant would 'never return' if it left the harbour.
"The Jumbo Kingdom is a collective memory of people living in Southern district," he said. "I cannot understand why the plan allowing Ocean Park to continue operating the restaurant can disappear like it's a trivial matter."
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