Watch: Floating restaurant sinks
A steakhouse restaurant in Essex has been forced to permanently close — after it sank. The unfortunate incident occurred just prior to Christmas 2022, and was put down to ‘structural issues’.
One onlooker described the converted paddle steamer as ‘going down like the Titanic’.
The steakhouse started to lean precariously on the morning of 23 December 2022 and was closed and evacuated.
Essex Fire and Rescue Service says that it was “informed of the incident, but as no one was onboard (everyone was safely evacuated) there was no life risk and therefore we were not required to attend.
“The incident is being dealt with by the site owners.”
A spokesperson for Miller and Carter (the chain which uses the premises) told the Hereford Times: “Our priority is our guests, and our teams are working hard to contact everyone who holds a booking with us to inform them of the unforeseeable incident and issue refunds as quickly as possible.”
Lakeside miller and carter sinking pic.twitter.com/615os4ODGm— David Byrne (@DavidBy56654315) December 23, 2022
Lakeside’s centre director Howard Oldstein told the BBC that the boat appeared to have stopped sinking and was sitting on the water at about a “30 per cent decline”.
He says that about half a dozen staff were preparing to open for lunch when water started to “ingress”.
Oldstein says they shut down all energy supplies before evacuating the restaurant.
A restaurant spokeswoman told the Thurrock Gazette that the priority was to “update guests” who had bookings and that an assessment of the structure will then follow.
“As you can imagine at this time of the year it is difficult to get the specialist help which may be required, so the picture will be clearer in the new year when normal business operations resume.”
Lakeside’s Miller and Carter floating restaurant near Grays has cancelled future bookings after the replica paddle steamer partially sank into lake. Lakeside director Howard Oldstein tells @DaveMonkEssex it’s an iconic site https://t.co/ffsqtjlFHO pic.twitter.com/Pgn8R6W9D8— BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) December 24, 2022
Andrew Baggott, leader of Basildon Council, hopes the business can make a return following the incident.
He says: “It is obviously disappointing for people who were looking forward to meals there and I think people are still looking forward to things as the covid recovery continues.
“My heart goes out to these people and I has been there a while and is popular too. The images are shocking and my first thought was about whether people were hurt, I then wondered about the missed bookings and then you think about the cost.
“I think things like this are always shocking and it is more poignant at this time of year.” He said it could have been worse and he hopes those who missed bookings get some satisfaction back.
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