British holidaymakers warned of dangers of balcony falls

28th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

The Foreign Office on Friday warned British holidaymakers going abroad this summer to be careful on balconies, particularly while drinking alcohol, after a teenager fell to his death in Bulgaria.

Officials are concerned about the popularity of 'balconing' -- a game which involves jumping from a balcony into a swimming pool, or from one balcony to balcony, often at night.

The warning comes after a 19-year-old Briton fell from his hotel a fortnight ago while visiting the popular Bulgarian resort of Sunny Beach.

Three other Britons have been injured in balcony falls this month.

Last week, a 19-year-old German holidaymaker died trying to jump between balconies in the Spanish resort of Lloret de Mar.

With the peak holiday season approaching, the Foreign Office and the ABTA travel association have renewed a campaign to warn Britons of the risks.

"Last year we had to deal with several deaths and injuries from balcony falls, and unfortunately we are already experiencing balcony accidents again," said Jon O'Shaughnessy, the British consul in Sofia.

He 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."

A British man miraculously survived a fall from a 15th-storey balcony in Auckland earlier this month.

Tom Stilwell, 20, arrived home in the early hours of the morning to find himself locked out, so he tried to clamber down to his balcony from a neighbour's property above.

He slipped and plunged 13 floors onto a roof below, but only suffered broken bones and cuts. Experts said he was lucky to be alive, and he admitted he had been "an idiot".

© 2013 AFP

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