FCO urges Brits to play safe overseas

FCO urges Brits to play safe overseas

There have been 13 incidents of young people falling from balconies so far this year, three of these cases resulting in death.

In response, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and ABTA have joined forces on a campaign to help prevent balcony incidents among young people in popular holiday resorts.

In Majorca and Ibiza, for instance, two of the UK’s top tourist destinations, there have been nine cases – already matching figures for 2011, despite only being half way through the season.

Most incidents involve young people between the ages of 18 and 35 and while not always the case, alcohol often plays a part.

Paul Abrey, consul in the Balearics, said: “We’ve already seen some tragic cases this summer which have had devastating consequences for the individuals and families concerned. 

“This year there’s been a particular spike early on in the holiday season with figures already matching last year’s.

“Some people have fallen whilst climbing to a friend’s apartment, others have simply lost their footing after a few too many drinks and a few have deliberately jumped off aiming for the pool below.

“It should go without saying these practices are extremely dangerous and can cost them their life or leave them permanently disabled. Many young people also arrive without travel insurance.

“The FCO can’t pay medical bills and holidaymakers may end up paying out thousands for medical bills and flights back to the UK.”

ABTA predicts around 3 million young holidaymakers will head overseas this summer with Spain, Greece and Turkey favourite destinations.

Young people travelling out to resorts will be handed leaflets which include the story of Jake Evans, 18, from Liverpool, who narrowly survived a fall from a 7th floor balcony last year after a few too many drinks.

Jake also tells his story in a video, which can be viewed on the FCO’s website and on YouTube, in an attempt to get young people to think twice before they engage in risky behaviours.

The video accompanies a short radio feature which will be sent out to radio stations in the UK.