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The dangers of hotel balconies

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When my sister recently decided to go on a post A-levels holiday with her friends to Magaluf, the first thing my mum said was “don’t be getting drunk and going on the balcony”. Sadly, for some parents warnings such as these have come too late.

Magaluf is just one popular holiday destination for young people wishing to go on a group holiday; with programmes such as “Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents” documenting the antics that they get up to. Often this involves partying into the early hours of the morning and drinking excessively.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a shockingly high rate of deaths caused by balcony falls and these can often be as a result of drinking too much alcohol.

Earlier this week, a campaign was launched by Spanish police aimed to warn people of the dangers of being drunk whilst on hotel balconies and act as a deterrent to prevent these tragic accidents from happening.

Sadly, on the very same day the campaign was launched, 19 year old Thomas Ousby was killed instantly when he fell from balcony of the Atlantic Park hotel in Magaluf. It was reported that Mr Ousby was not a guest at the hotel and was spotted by a maintenance worker at approximately 7 am Wednesday morning attempting to gain entry through a fire escape. Despite being asked to get down, he fell from the 9th floor and tragically died after paramedics battled to save him.

Spanish police are currently investigating the incident, a Foreign Office spokeswoman has stated: "We were notified on August 3 of the death of a British national in Spain and are providing consular assistance to the family at this time."

This is one of a few examples of tragic accidents that have happened over the last year.

Earlier this summer, Sean Kelly, 24, fell 70ft from a 7th floor balcony within 3 hours of his arrival. 22 year old Timothy James was lucky to survive a fall from a 4th floor balcony in June 2013 however, not everyone is so lucky and a total of 10 balcony accidents were reported in the Balearic Islands last summer, with 4 being fatal.

Sarah Drane, a British citizen living in Majorca, suggests that “resort workers need to reconsider their cheap booze, bar crawl strategy and friends need to look out for their friends and stop them getting into a position where they could tumble to their death.”

I have to say I could not agree more with this statement and hope that more will be done to educate young people on the dangers of balconies and prevent tragic accidents such as these happening.

Laura Rogers, Graduate Paralegal