Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spain: Death from Balcony Fall of British Tourist, 41, Deemed Accidental

Paul Clough, 41, a British tourist on holiday with his family in Spain's Balearic Islands, reportedly fell through a space in his third-floor hotel balcony, and sustained multiple fractures throughout his body that led to his death in a local hospital on Sunday (October 7).

When taken to Mateu Orfila Hospital on Saturday, Mr. Clough's injuries were so severe that he passed away at 1800 hours on Sunday (October 7).

Clough checked into the four-star Marina Apartments Hotel with several family members the day before his fall.

COMMENT: As our readers know all too well, I have posted countless postings on British tourists, and other nationalities as well, who have fallen from their hotel balconies while "balconing," which amounts to enormous peer pressure, often while intoxicated, whereby they jump from balcony to balcony, often with irreversible results.

Mr. Clough's death brings to TWELVE the number of Britons who have fallen to their death from upper floors this year alone [2012] in Spanish resorts. Sadly, police are still investigating Clough's fall, although police investigators have generally initially concluded that the fall was accidental.

In April, British tourist Adam Atkinson, 20, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, died in Magaluf, Majorca, after reportedly falling down stairs.
Later that month Benjamin Harper, 28, from Twickenham, south-west London, fell to his death at the four-star Sol Antillas hotel in the same resort.
A month later British tourist Charlotte Faris, 23, also plunged to her death during the early hours of the morning in Magaluf. The holidaymaker from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, had checked into the Teix Hotel just hours earlier.

The fact that Majorca has seen a 132% rise in hospital admissions for sick and injured Brits in the last two years alone should suggest to reasonable people that there is a serious problem underway with British young adults in Spanish beach resorts, as the fatalities continue to rise.

Although the Foreign Office and the Association of British Travel Agents  have collectively joined together to promote a safety program aimed at youthful British tourists, we all know that telling binge drinkers not to drink and engage in high-risk pranks that can often result in their being maimed for life or killed, is simply pointless. 

Such an approach will never work, particularly when impaired peer pressure is so intensely at work.


Given the high death toll amongst British young adults in Spain, it is time for the British Foreign Office to do more than tell its citizens to "be careful," and to issue a deliberate and strong travel warning to all Britons traveling to Spain that suggests that hotel construction in coastal areas are not conducive to a safe hotel visit.


I had hoped that hoteliers in Spain would exercise some responsibility by retrofitting hotel balconies so falls and dare-devil pranks don't contribute to filling local morgues. Yet, no hotelier has apparently risen to the occasion to take action to make their balconies safer. 


If FCO does not issue a travel warning as I have suggested,  the Foreign Office may well become more a part of the problem rather than being the source of a solution.  


A final note. If no one takes action in attempting to prevent unnecessary British deaths in Spain, the fatalities will only rise. A very sad situation.