Jumbo seafood restaurant spins ‘bottom up’, superstructure disintegrates

Administration of security: the boat is in an “ascending” position resting on the underwater reefs

The Jumbo seafood boat, which capsized in waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea while being towed out of Hong Kong in June 2022, has had its current status updated by the Administration Hainan Maritime Security, a unit of the Sansha Maritime Security Administration. .

The Hainan Maritime Safety Administration told Hong Kong’s “WeMedia01” on August 3 that the seafood boat’s hull had overturned and was resting in a “bottom-up” position resting on the reefs of the seabed with its disintegrated superstructure. He also said part of the bottom of the boat would still stick out of the water at low tide.

The South Korean tug company responsible for towing the Jumbo Seafood boat said earlier that salvaging the boat was “completely impossible” due to insurance issues. A person familiar with the matter analyzed that the accident was mainly due to the unstable weather and revealed that the shipowner and the insurance company planned to organize scuba dives, to drill all the other buoyancy chambers, to scuttle the boat and let it sink to the bottom of the sea.

When the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration responded to the “scuttling” of the seafood boat, it stressed that it would urge the tug company to fulfill its duty of rescue and removal as soon as possible. in accordance with the law.

The Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, with a history of half a century in operation, was a landmark and tourist attraction in Hong Kong’s South District. However, it was closed during the pandemic for more than two years and no new operator could be found during this difficult period. On June 14, with the public unsure of its next destination, it was towed by tug from the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.

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On the evening of June 18, while being towed by the ocean-going tug “JAEWON 9”, the seafood boat capsized in the waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

However, its parent company, Aberdeen Catering Group, only announced the incident on June 20, saying the seafood boat encountered strong winds and waves on June 18 and overturned in the water. June 19.

At the time, the company said that since the water at the site was more than 1,000 meters deep, “the proposed rescue project will be very difficult to carry out”.

On the evening of June 21, two days later, the group claimed the seafood boat had capsized and the Hong Kong Marine Department confirmed for the first time that Cambodia was its intended destination.

The director of the tug company gave i-Cable on June 24 more details about the incident. He said the seafood boat had eight buoyancy chambers. One on the port bow was hit and damaged by seawater, then pressed against another buoyancy chamber, also causing it to fail.

With two buoyancy chambers damaged, the ship heeled over to the port side, although the remaining six buoyancy chambers remained intact. At 28 meters (92 ft) high, 79 meters (259 ft) long and 25 meters (82 ft) wide, the high center of gravity made it vulnerable to capsizing.

After turning “bottom up”, it was said that the hull would still be visible at low tide.

Ying-cheung

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