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Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, Once World’s Largest, Capsizes at Sea

A piece of history has been lost in the South China Sea, after the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, part of the larger structure of Jumbo Kingdom and a Hong Kong landmark, capsized due to bad weather. The floating construction, once the world’s largest, has been deemed a total loss.
The iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for ever 8 photos
The iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for everThe iconic Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant capsized at sea and is lost for ever
Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom opened in 1976 and, through the years, served over 30 million diners traditional Cantonese cuisine in an imperial-style setting, became a movie star location (Contagion, James Bond: The Man With the Golden Gun, Enter the Dragon), and drew some of most high-profile public figures, including Queen Elizabeth II and Jimmy Carter, and Tom Cruise. As of 2013, it operated at a loss, accumulating over $13 million in debt, shuttering for good at the start of the 2020 health crisis, and laying off its staff.

However, until 2022, owners Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Ltd. continued to pay for maintenance and the usual city permits and approvals, which added to the increasing debt. At the end of May this year, the company announced that, following an unsuccessful attempt to donate it to the city to have it repurposed, it would move the entire floating structure to an unspecified location. The idea was to bring running costs to a minimum while discussing options with potential investors.

On June 14, after it was separated from a smaller kitchen vessel that had started to tilt after a breach and was left at dock, the restaurant vessel was towed out of the Aberdeen Harbor. On June 15, after experiencing a bout of severe weather off the coast of Xisha Islands, the restaurant capsized, Bloomberg reports.

According to the owners, the 260-foot (80-meter) vessel, which was the largest boat of Jumbo Kingdom, is now under 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) of water, which makes any recovery attempt downright impossible. The Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant is a total loss, is what they’re saying, but on the bright side, no injuries are reported. An investigation is now underway to determine the exact causes of the accident.

The Restaurant was once the world’s largest floating restaurant and remained a Hong Kong landmark even after its glory days had long dawned. It had a 2,000-person capacity, and was accompanied by a smaller and older restaurant boat, the kitchen unit, a barge for seafood tanks, and eight small ferries that brought in customers from land.



 
 
 
 
 

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