Hong Kong floating restaurant capsizes at sea

One of Hong Kong's best-known landmarks has been lost to the sea.

The company that owns the Jumbo Floating Restaurant said in a statement the giant ship capsized while being towed through open water. Media reports say the vessel sank.

The 80-meter ship set off from its long-time home in Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour last Tuesday for an undisclosed repair site.

Over the weekend, the restaurant and its tugboats encountered bad weather while passing the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands.

The company says no one was injured, but the former tourist attraction is believed to have sunk to a depth of more than 1,000 meters, making salvage unlikely.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant had been a Hong Kong landmark for more than four decades.

Over 3 million guests including celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth and Tom Cruise have sampled its Cantonese cuisine.

But the restaurant hit financial trouble in 2020 due to pandemic lockdowns and was forced to close.

Before sinking, it was being moved to an undisclosed location, where it could undergo low-cost maintenance.