Words spread that the renowned Jumbo Floating Restaurant “suddenly sank” on its way from Aberdeen on June 14 to South East Asia for repairs and maintenance. But a few days later, the Marine Department said the Jumbo Floating Restaurant is still afloat near the Paracel Island. As the mystery deepens, the Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, parent company of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, released a statement on June 26.
Previously, Sing Tao Daily quoted Chairman of Hong Kong Insurance Professionals Federation, Mak Shun-pong, that the estimated amount of the Jumbo floating Restaurant is at least HK$100 million (US$12.8 million). Conspiracy theory suggested that the sinking of the Restaurant would be to the Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises’s benefit as this does not save the considerable maintenance costs, but also receiving the insurance compensations. The Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises issued another statement on June 26 to clarify that the company will not receive any compensation from the sinking of the Floating Restaurant as it only has insurance for third parties.
The Group said that it has hired marine engineering experts to examine the hull structure and mast hoop installation before the Jumbo Floating Restaurant left the port. After the leave is approved by the authorities, they have hired a professional towing company to take care. However, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant experienced adverse weather conditions near the Paracel Island and began to tilt over. The towing company tried to rescue but the attempts were unsuccessful and the Floating Restaurant unfortunately sank.
The Group said that they have submitted a report of this unfortunate event to the Marine Department. The Sansha City Maritime Safety Administration are following the incident closely. The towing company is still near the Jumbo Floating Company, assisting with waterway safety.