Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises has said that it will not receive any insurance payment for the loss of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in the South China Sea. In a Sunday press release, it said the capsized eatery’s tugboat will remain near the vessel “to help ensure the safety of the waterway.”

Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Jumbo Floating Restaurant on June 14, 2022. Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

The iconic seaborne restaurant flipped, but is still afloat, after it encountered adverse weather conditions near the disputed Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands. It was destined for Cambodia.

“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,” the firm said, amid speculation it could stand to benefit from the incident.

The company – represented by Brunswick PR firm – did not address why it initially failed to clarify press reports that the flotilla had sunk, and has not answered HKFP’s questions about environmental precautions in the area. It has not supplied any images or videos of the incident.

jumbo floating restaurant
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Photo: GovHK.

In its statement, it added that it had made a cumulative loss of over HK$100 million operating the restaurant since 2013.

See also: Memes, mourning and metaphors as Hong Kong reacts to demise of iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant

They hired professional marine engineers to inspect the hull and hoardings ahead of the voyage, it said. The vessel left Aberdeen harbour on June 14.

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After the Marine Department demanded a report and complained the firm had failed to inform them of the incident before the press, the company said on Sunday that it had met Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements.

It added that the Sansha Maritime Safety Administration is now following up on the incident.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.