One of the most famous and photogenic restaurants in Hong Kong, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, has capsized in the South China Sea. The restaurant, featured in films such as Jackie Chan’s 1985 action movie The Protector, was towed away from its location of 46 years in Aberdeen harbour. During its journey to an undisclosed location, the boat met with adverse weather conditions when passing the Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands.
First established in 1976 by Stanley Ho Hung-sun, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant is an impressive 80-metre-long structure designed like a Chinese imperial palace that has been featured in many films. It can be seen in flicks such as the monster movie Godzilla vs Destoroyah, and the thriller movie Contagion. But the star power of the boat also comes from its large array of A-lister clients such as Tom Cruise and Queen Elizabeth II.
Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises issued a statement to The Guardian about the legendary tourist attraction capsizing, stating that it was “very saddened by the incident” and clarified that no crew members were injured.
“The water depth at the scene is over 1,000 metres, making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works,” the statement read. The owners went on to confirm that the boat is still afloat, but rescue work would be “extremely difficult” due to the amount of water.
According to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant had not been profitable since 2013 and, following the events of the Covid-19 pandemic, had cumulative losses that exceeded HK$100m.
It was also said that maintenance fees cost millions every year and that lack of upkeep had caused a 30-metre kitchen barge connected to the restaurant to sink earlier in June 2022.
Currently, we are still waiting on word on the boat’s exact status. Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises confirmed that before the vessel’s departure from the harbour, it had been inspected by marine engineers, and hoardings had been installed.
All relevant approvals were obtained. So, only time will tell us what the fate of the iconic movie restaurant will be. Stay tuned for updates.