Balcony tumblers be warned!
THE British Embassy in Madrid, concerned with the spate of balcony falls by holiday-makers inSpain, has launched a joint warning with ABTA – The Travel Association to potential victims.
It follows 13 reported incidents of youngsters falling from balconies so far this year, with three deaths and the others seriously injured.
In Majorca and Ibiza, two ofUK’s top tourist destinations, there have been nine cases – already matching the 2011 figures. Most incidents involve the 18-35 age group, and alcohol often plays a part.
Paul Abrey, British Consul in the Balearics, said: “We’ve already seen some tragic cases this summer, which have had devastating consequences for the individuals and families concerned.
“Some people have fallen while climbing to a friend’s apartment, others have simply lost their footing after a few too many drinks and a few have deliberately jumped off, aiming for the pool below (known as balconeering).
“It should go without saying that these practices are extremely dangerous and can cost them their lives, or leave them permanently disabled. And many young people also arrive without travel insurance.
“We can’t pay medical bills, and holiday-makers may end up paying out thousands for medical bills and flights back to theUK.”
ABTA predicts around three million young holiday-makers will head overseas this summer, withSpain,GreeceandTurkeytheir favourite destinations.
Youngsters travelling out to resorts will be handed leaflets which include the story of 18-year-old Liverpudlian Jake Evans, who narrowly survived a fall from a seventh-floor balcony last year after a few too many drinks.
Jake was featured on British television this week, recounting his horrific story, with a warning to young people to go easy on the booze on holiday.
He has also made a video of how he was reaching over his balcony to catch a cigarette lighter from his pal below and simply tumbled over.
He woke up sprawled on a sun bed – which helped break his fall – with horrendous, multiple injuries. But alive!
Nikki White, ABTA Head of Destinations and Sustainability, said: “Each year, too many young people are permanently injured or worse because they’ve tried to climb over or dive off their hotel balcony.
She added: “ABTA, the Foreign Office and tourist authorities are all working together to help raise awareness of the dangers and prevent these incidents.
“The after-effects are often made even worse through holiday-makers travelling uninsured, and parents having to raise large amounts of money to get their children home.
“Our advice aims to help holiday-makers to use their balconies safely and prevent more of these tragic and avoidable incidents.”
Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=14310