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Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Sinking of iconic Hong Kong landmark represents another loss of cultural heritage

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Jumbo Floating Restaurant at night. (Twitter, ourchinesehistory image)

Jumbo Floating Restaurant at night. (Twitter, ourchinesehistory image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Sunday (June 19), Hong Kong's iconic landmark, Jumbo Floating Restaurant (珍寶海鮮舫), suddenly sank while being towed in the South China Sea, marking another loss of Hong Kong's cultural heritage.

The 80-meter-long palatial barge was a well-known landmark in Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour for over 40 years. Over the decades, since its opening in 1976 by gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, it has hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise, and Richard Branson.

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(Wikimedia Commons photo)

It has entertained more than three million customers and was a filming location for cinematic classics such as "Man with the Golden Gun," "Infernal Affairs," and "The God of Cookery."

However, since 2013, the restaurant was unable to turn a profit, eventually accruing losses that totaled HK$100 million (US$12.7 million), reported Deutsche Welle. When the COVID pandemic first struck Hong Kong in 2020, this was the final straw for the eatery, and its holding company Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises decided to shutter the operation and lay off all staff.

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

According to the parent company, the process of towing the vessel to an undisclosed location to undergo repairs began on June 14. When passing the Paracel Islands on Saturday (June 18), the barge encountered "adverse conditions" and the hull began to take on water, eventually causing it to capsize and sink to the bottom of the ocean on Sunday, reported AP.

Due to a water depth of 1,000 meters at the location of the sinking, it is believed that salvage would be extremely difficult. There were no injuries reported from the incident.

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(Reuters photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)

Looking back at Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant
(AP photo)