Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant has capsized in the South China Sea less than a week after it was towed away from the city.
According to the restaurant’s owner, it encountered “adverse conditions” as it was passing the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands.
Water got inside and it began to tip.
No-one was injured but efforts to save the vessel failed and it capsized.
A statement from Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said it was “very saddened” by what had happened.
It added that since the water depth was more than 1,000 meters deep, it was “extremely difficult to carry out salvage works”.
At almost 80 meters (260ft) in length, Jumbo had been a landmark in Hong Kong for more than four decades, serving Cantonese cuisine to more than a million guests including the Queen and Tom Cruise.
It closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and laid off all its staff.
Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said the restaurant became a financial burden to its shareholders, with millions of Hong Kong dollars spent on its inspection and maintenance even though it was not in operation.
It was towed away last Tuesday.
The company had planned to move it to a lower-cost site where maintenance could be carried out.
It said that prior to its departure, the vessel had been thoroughly inspected by marine engineers and all relevant approvals were obtained.
An investigation into what happened is under way.