With luxury yacht builders trying to convince China’s nouveau riche to think bigger and splashier, the Sept. 29 launch of a luxury houseboat purported to cost more than $2.6 million (17 million renminbi) included speeches from a formal stage erected for the occasion.
As the vessel, named SS Jiugang, was rolled into the Yellow River, a crowd of onlookers watched as the stern slipped under the water and became stuck as workers desperately tried to shove the boat into the river. Photos show the stern half of the boat fully submerged and the bow pointing 30 degrees into the air.
A government transportation official later blamed “improper handling from the builders who mistakenly estimated the water level …,” according to a local account.
The boat was pulled from the water on Oct. 2 and is under repair.