The parent company of Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant will not receive any insurance payout for the loss of the vessel, it said in a statement on Sunday (Jun 26).
“The vessel is covered by a ‘Protection and Indemnity Cover for Third Parties Liability’ in accordance with maritime regulations. This insurance covers third party losses, not losses to the company,” said Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises.
It had capsized near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Jun 19 after it “encountered adverse conditions” and began to take on water, according to the company.
However, there has been scepticism over the incident involving the tourist attraction, which closed in March 2020 after almost a decade of financial woes.
On Sunday, the company said that the vessel’s departure complied with maritime regulations and practices.
“The Company hired professional marine engineers to inspect the hull and hoardings and obtained approval from the authorities before the vessel departed from Hong Kong.”
“The tug company that towed the vessel out of Hong Kong was hired by a licensed third-party broker. The towing method was in compliance with international maritime regulations and customary practices.”
It added that its report filing to authorities was in accordance with the applicable law.
On Jun 20, it issued a statement regarding the incident while preparing a Report of Marine Incident, and three days later, it filed a Report of Marine Incident in accordance with Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements, said the firm.
“The relevant regulations state that the Report of Marine Incident involving a Hong Kong vessel outside Hong Kong waters must be filed as soon as practicable but and no later than 24 hours after such vessel’s arrival at the next port,” it said.
There has also been confusion over whether the vessel had actually capsized or sank.
While it said in its original statement on Jun 20 that the vessel had “capsized”, it had also added: “The water depth at the scene is over 1,000m, making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works.”
A few days later, the company reached out to some media outlets, insisting that the boat had “capsized”, not “sank”.
In its statement on Sunday, the company said that its response to the incident has been “consistent”.
“Our statement on Jun 20 stated that water had entered into the hull of the vessel, and the vessel began to tip when passing the Xisha Islands in the South China Seas,” it added, using the Chinese name for the Paracels.
“Despite the efforts of the tugboat responsible to rescue the vessel, it capsized. This is consistent with our report to the Marine Department on Jun 23, which stated that the vessel capsized due to adverse conditions.”
The company also said that the tugboat remains “near the vessel in the Xisha Islands” to help ensure the safety of the waterway.
The local maritime authority (Sansha Maritime Safety Administration) has been notified and is now considering the appropriate measures, it added.
Opened in 1976 by the late casino tycoon Stanley Ho, in its glory days it embodied the height of luxury, reportedly costing more than HK$30 million (US$3.8 million) to build. The 76m vessel could house 2,300 diners.
Designed like a Chinese imperial palace and once considered a must-see landmark, the restaurant drew visitors from Queen Elisabeth II to Tom Cruise.
It was also featured in several films including Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, about a deadly global pandemic.
Category: Hong Kong