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Boozy Brits' balcony safety warning

4/07/13

By Ian Lewis

Young Britons holidaying abroad are being reminded of the deadly dangers that a combination of alcohol, high spirits and messing about on a balcony can pose.

Young Britons holidaying abroad are being reminded of the deadly dangers that a combination of alcohol, high spirits and messing about on a balcony can pose.

The warning comes after a spate of holiday balcony falls which has resulted in the death of one Briton and injuries to three more in the last month alone.

Last year saw 14 similar cases reported, many involving young people and alcohol. Seven have been reported so far this year, prompting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and ABTA to launch a balcony safety advice campaign. Recent incidents have occurred at Majorca in Spain and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria.

Jon O'Shaughnessy, British Consul in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, said balcony falls had left officials having to deal with several deaths and injuries involving Britons over the last couple of holiday seasons.

He said because a momentary lapse in judgement could have "devastating effects" on a victim and their family, staff were working to highlight the risks.

Mr O'Shaughnessy added: "Accidents can and do happen and climbing from balcony to balcony, jumping off them or drinking excessively while on one only increases your chances of something going wrong. All too often these incidents cost lives but the risks can be avoided if you take a moment to just think about the possible consequences."

ABTA's head of destinations and sustainability, Nikki White, said they wanted people to enjoy their holidays but think about the potential consequences of their behaviour.

She added: "We see too many people permanently injured or worse because they've tried to climb over or dive off their hotel balcony. We hope to help holidaymakers stop and think about how they use their balconies to prevent more of these tragic and avoidable incidents."

Holidaymakers are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance but to avoid trouble in the first place by knowing their limits when it comes to alcohol. Drink can impair judgement and its effects can increase in hotter climates.


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