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A iconic Hong Kong landmark has sunk just days after being dragged away from the harbour where it had been operating for nearly 50 years.

According to its parent company, the Jumbo restaurant of Hong Kong collapsed in the South China Sea while on route to an unidentified site. The incident was “extremely saddening,” according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, although no crew members were wounded. As the Covid-19 epidemic occurred in March 2020, the eatery closed.

After nearly half a century moored in the city’s southwest waters, tugboats pulled away Jumbo Kingdom, a three-story yacht with an exterior designed after a Chinese imperial palace. Jumbo Kingdom, once the world’s largest floating restaurant, has appeared in a number of Hong Kong and foreign films, including Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” and James Bond: The Man with the Golden Gun. It has also entertained celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth II, Jimmy Carter, and Tom Cruise.

Over the years, it is estimated that more than 3 million people have dined on its Cantonese food, including the Queen, Tom Cruise, and Richard Branson. It had been featured in various films, including one starring James Bond, but the pandemic killed the business as diners turned away.

Before the voyage, marine engineers were engaged to evaluate the floating eatery, and “all appropriate approvals” were secured, according to the owners. The ship was supposed to stay in an undisclosed place while it looked for a new owner.

However, it sank in the Paracel Islands on Sunday after “adverse weather” caused it to take on water, according to Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises. “The water depth at the area is almost 1,000 meters, making salvage operations exceedingly challenging,” it continued.

The epidemic was the final straw for the eatery, which had been struggling financially for years. Melco International Development, the company’s operator, stated last month that it had not been profitable since 2013 and was losing a lot of money.

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