Tourists warned about balcony dangers

A spate of deaths and injuries caused by falls from balconies has prompted the Foreign Office to update its travel advice for holidaymakers to Spain.

As the peak travel season approaches, holidaymakers staying in high-rise hotels have been given a safety warning after a number of serious accidents involving falls from balconies.

The Foreign Office said many of these incidents happened to British nationals who were under the influence of drink or drugs.

It has updated its travel advice page for Spain and urged young people not to take part in the craze of ‘balconing’, which involves jumping off a balcony into a swimming pool.

Devastating impact

In 2015 and the first half of 2016, travel association ABTA said that three British nationals had died and six more seriously injured after falling or jumping from balconies while on holiday overseas. However, the organisation believes that this is just a fraction of the total number of incidents.

In one case reported last year, a Welsh holidaymaker had to be put in an induced coma after falling from a balcony on his first night in Magaluf. He suffered severe head injuries and has been told by doctors that it could take up to 10 years for him to recover.

ABTA has published posters in hotels popular with young people warning about balconing and other dangers such as climbing from one balcony to another or standing on balcony furniture.

It said that a moment of thoughtlessness can have a devastating impact.

Insurance warning

The Foreign Office has also warned holidaymakers that travel insurers may not cover such incidents if the person was under the influence of drink or drugs.

It also says that some local councils in Spain will impose fines on those caught behaving irresponsibly on balconies or practising balconing.

Calvià Council, which covers the Magaluf area, recently introduced fines of up to 1,500 euros (£1,287) for anyone balconing, or goading other people to jump off balconies.