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Thriller deepens over destiny of Hong Kong’s Jumbo floating restaurant

The Jumbo floating restaurant was initially believed to have sunk within the South China Sea after being towed out of Hong Kong.—AFP
  • Vacationer attraction closed in 2020, citing COVID as a purpose for monetary issues.
  • Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises says the boat had capsized.
  • The corporate beforehand mentioned marine engineers had been employed to examine the floating restaurant.

HONG KONG: The thriller over the destiny of Hong Kong’s Jumbo floating restaurant deepened on Friday after its proprietor raised confusion over whether or not the financially distressed vacationer attraction actually sank whereas being towed out of the town final week.

On Monday, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises launched a press release saying the ship had capsized on Sunday close to the Paracel Islands within the South China Sea after it “encountered hostile situations” and started to fill with water.

“The depth of the water on the scene is greater than 1,000 meters, which makes it extraordinarily tough to hold out salvage work,” he added.

On Thursday evening, the Hong Kong Marine Division launched a press release saying it had solely realized of the incident by media studies and had instantly requested a report from the corporate.

The division mentioned the report was delivered on Thursday and mentioned the restaurant had capsized however “right now, each the Jumbo and the tug are nonetheless within the waters off the Xisha Islands,” utilizing the Chinese language title of Paracels.

hours later a AFP The journalist was contacted by a restaurant spokesman who mentioned the corporate had at all times used the phrase “capsized” and never “sunk.”

Requested straight if the ship had sunk, he mentioned once more that the assertion mentioned “capsized”, and didn’t clarify why he had referred to the depth of the water when mentioning the salvage.

The South China Morning Publish reported the same dialog with an organization spokeswoman, by which they insisted the ship had “capsized,” not “sunk,” however declined to say whether or not it was nonetheless afloat.

The newspaper mentioned it had been instructed by the Navy Division that the corporate may have violated native laws if it had not notified authorities of a sinking incident inside 24 hours.

The corporate didn’t contradict widespread studies in native and worldwide media earlier within the week that Jumbo had sunk.

AFP has requested a proper assertion from Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises on Jumbo’s standing, in addition to an in depth rationalization of what occurred.

The corporate beforehand mentioned marine engineers had been employed to examine the floating restaurant and set up billboards on the vessel forward of the voyage, and “all related approvals” had been obtained.

Monetary issues

The vacationer attraction closed in March 2020, citing the COVID-19 pandemic because the straw that broke the camel’s again after practically a decade of monetary struggles.

Learn extra: Well-known Hong Kong floating restaurant towed away after half a century

Operator Melco Worldwide Growth mentioned final month that the enterprise had not been worthwhile since 2013 and that collected losses had exceeded HK$100 million ($12.7 million).

It was nonetheless costing tens of millions in upkeep charges every year and a couple of dozen firms and organizations had turned down an invite to take it over without cost, Melco added.

It introduced final month that earlier than its license expires in June, Jumbo would depart Hong Kong and watch for a brand new operator at an undisclosed location.

The restaurant left shortly earlier than midday final Tuesday from Hong Kong Island’s southern hurricane shelter, the place it had sat for practically half a century.

Opened in 1976 by the late on line casino magnate Stanley Ho, in its glory days it represented the peak of luxurious and reportedly value greater than 30 million Hong Kong {dollars} to construct.

Designed as a Chinese language imperial palace and as soon as thought of a must-see landmark, the restaurant drew guests from Queen Elizabeth II to Tom Cruise.

He additionally appeared in a number of movies, together with Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” a couple of lethal world pandemic.

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