Hong Kong’s giant floating restaurant where the Queen once dined has capsized

One of the world's most iconic restaurants, which once served the Queen, has sunk just a few days after it was towed away.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong was known throughout the world because it was a giant ship converted into a restaurant.

But last week it was towed away, having been forced to close in 2020 due to the pandemic and was forced to lay off all of its staff.

The owners – Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises – said that the business had become a “financial burden” to its shareholders.

And last week, it began its journey to a new undisclosed location.

However, yesterday (Jun 21) it met a sad ending as it sank just after it passed the Xisha Island in the South China Sea.

Efforts to save the restaurant were attempted, but sadly failed.

The company said in a statement: “Jumbo Floating Restaurant departed Hong Kong last Tuesday (June 14) and until Saturday afternoon, when passing Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, the vessel encountered adverse conditions which water soon entered before it began to tip.

“Despite the efforts of the towing company responsible for the trip to rescue the vessel, unfortunately it capsized on Sunday (June 19).

It has been confirmed that No crew members were injured in the incident.

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The statement continued: “As the water depth at the scene is over 1,000 metres,making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works.

“(We are) very saddened by this accident.

“The company is now getting further details of the accident from the towing company. In accordance with regulations, professional marine engineers were hired to thoroughly inspect the hull of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and install hoardings tot eh vessel before its departure last week. The trip had obtained all relevant approvals.”

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The restaurant measured around 260ft long and had served more than three million dinners in its history – including the Queen and Tom Cruise.

It opened in 1952, with enough seating for around 2,300 guests each night and served traditional Cantonese food with an Al Fresco banqueting hall located on the top deck of the boat.

A self-contained cooking academy was also located on board, which saw Chinese culinary being taught by the chefs of the restaurant.

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In 2003, it went through a major multimillion-dollar renovation in 2003, bringing more tourists to the Shum Wan Pier in Aberdeen, Hong Kong.

It is not the first disaster suffered by the now-sunken restaurant.

In October 1971, a huge four-alarm fire happened before it opened which left 34 dead and 42 injured.

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