Hong Kong’s Jumbo floating restaurant upside down and trapped on reef as investigation continues

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s Jumbo floating restaurant got stuck on a reef in the South China Sea where it capsized in June, but posed no threat to other vessels, according to mainland Chinese maritime authorities investigating the incident. .

A Hainan Maritime Safety Administration duty officer said on Wednesday August 3 that the floating restaurant was still near the Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China, where it capsized in rough seas. in June as he headed to his new home. in Cambodia.

“We are still investigating the incident. The vessel capsized and capsized, and became trapped on a reef off Sansha [in Hainan]. As far as I know, this is the latest situation,” the duty officer said.

“We cannot say for sure how long the investigation will last. It is conducted in accordance with the laws in force. »

When asked if the wrecked vessel could affect shipping traffic, the officer replied: “Currently there is no threat to the safety of navigation in the area.”

But the officer declined to discuss Jumbo’s condition or whether authorities would help recover the ship.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Navy Department said it had no further update on the case as mainland authorities were handling it.

Jumbo’s owner, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, has been approached for comment.

The iconic restaurant left Hong Kong for a new home in June, but days after leaving it capsized near the Paracel Islands. At the time, her owner said Jumbo “encountered adverse conditions” and water entered the vessel and it capsized. But he said the ship didn’t sink.

The restaurant was towed by the Jaewon 9, a pusher tug flying the South Korean flag. The crew members are said to have taken part in the investigation in the port of Sanya on the island of Hainan.

Opened in 1976, Jumbo closed in early 2020, with Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises reporting a cumulative loss of more than HK$100 million (S$17.5 million) after the Covid-19 outbreak devastated the tourism and catering industries already under pressure from the social unrest. in 2019.

The company announced in May that it would move the boat out of Hong Kong waters as it could not afford the cost of maintaining the vessel to meet government requirements. He said at the time that he had to spend, on average, millions of dollars a year on inspections, repairs and maintenance to meet licensing and other requirements. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

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