A Hong Kong-built junk that is now about 3,900 metres under water in the Indian Ocean had historical significance, according to its owner, Marc Cuthbert. The 18-metre Precious Dragon, which sailed to Britain from Hong Kong in 1997 to mark the handover, was heading to Malacca to meet Mr Cuthbert and a new owner when it sank on Sunday. The wooden boat, a replica of mainland fishing junks, left Sri Lanka on Thursday last week and its next port would have been Malacca and then Singapore. It ran into heavy weather and sank 200 nautical miles off Sri Lanka. 'It is a very sad turn of events since she was a well-loved junk by many people from all over the world. She had historical significance,' Mr Cuthbert said. He said the boat could not be salvaged because of the depth of water it was in. The junk was built at Tsing Yi in 1987 to represent Hong Kong at the 1988 Brisbane Expo. It spent the next four years lying idle awaiting conversion to a ferry. It was later bought by Mr Cuthbert.