Probe Launched After Hong Kong's Famous Floating Restaurant Sinks
© AP Photo / Kin CheungThe Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which has been featured in many local and international movies over the years, is seen in Hong Kong on June 13, 2022
© AP Photo / Kin Cheung
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, a feature of the Hong Kong port for over 40 years, closed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It soon became a white elephant for its owners, with millions spent on inspections and maintenance while not bringing in revenue.
An investigation is underway after Hong Kong's famous Jumbo Palace floating nightspot sank while being towed at sea.
The giant restaurant, decorated in the style of the Chinese imperial palace, capsized and sank on Sunday in the South China Sea.
Owner Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said the 80-metre (260-foot) barge ran into "adverse conditions" as it passed the Paracel Islands, some 400 miles south-south-west of of its home harbour in Hong Kong.
The firm said it was "very saddened by this accident", but that it would be "extremely difficult to carry out salvage works" as the vessel sank in 1,000 metres of water.
Recently, the restaurant - which for more than 40 years had been a popular feature of Hong Kong's port - became a white elephant to its owners who found themselves shoveling in millions to pay for inspections and maintenance, and getting nothing in return, as the site had been forced to close in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After failed attempts to sell and even give away the Jumbo Palace, it was towed out of the harbour on June 14 for maintenance at a cheaper mooring site. Two weeks before departure the kitchen boat moored alongside sprang a leak and began listing.
8 May, 06:30 GMT
The restaurant featured in several films over the years, including Jackie Chan's 1985 film The Protector, comedy God of Cookery, action film Infernal Affairs II and Hollywood thriller Contagion.
The nightspot is destroyed in Japanese monster film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and NBC mini-series Noble House.
Contrary to claims from some sources, the Hong Kong casino scene in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun was not filmed at the restaurant, which did not open until 1976.
Famous guests at the restaurant over the years include Queen Elizabeth II and actor Tom Cruise.