On June 20, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based investment firm Melco International Development, announced that the 76-meter-long former restaurant had sunk near the Paracel Islands a day earlier after facing “adverse (weather)) conditions.” .
“The water depth at the site is about 1,000 meters and it is very difficult to carry out rescue operations,” the company said.
On Thursday, Hong Kong’s maritime ministry said it had learned of the incident from the media and had requested a report from the company.
In the document, the company states that the restaurant has returned, but “currently, the jumbo and tugboat are still at sea, beyond the coast of the Zisha Islands”, the Chinese name for the Paracel Islands.
A few hours later, a spokesman for the restaurant contacted an AFP reporter and said the company always uses the word “returned” and not “destroyed”.
When asked if the boat had sunk, the spokesman again replied that the report was “covered” but did not explain why the text stated that the depth of the water made recovery difficult.
A spokesman for the South China Morning Post revealed a similar conversation in which he insisted the boat “closed” and “did not sink” but did not explain whether it was still floating.
According to the release, the Ministry of Maritime said the company may have violated local law if it did not notify authorities of the shipwreck within 24 hours of the incident.
So far, the company has not denied information published by local and international newspapers earlier this week about the Jumbo restaurant shipwreck.
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