Spanish authorities in Majorca and Ibiza are opening up communication channels with the British Consulate to attempt to deal with “balconing” hereby young tourists dangle from or attempt to move between hotel balconies.
In particular Spanish medical teams are looking at ways to improve the after-care of people who have injured themselves by falling.
Juan Jose Segura, a doctor at the Universitary Hospital of Son Espases, in Majorca, said that he had been collaborating with campaigns for awareness among young British people, as well as with the Foreign Office and the UK media.
He has carried out research on the “balconing” phenomenon in the notorious island hotspots of Calvia and Magaluf where falls from hotel balconies are common. However, he noticed that there was little or no co-ordination on patient after-care between the British and Spanish authorities.
He said of the patients: “We don’t discharge them. They are simply put on a plane to their own country and we don’t know what happens to them, nor do we do any long-term follow up. We don’t even know if they manage to make a recovery throughout rehabilitation programs, or how many them don’t.”
Authorities have been trying to raise awareness of the stupidity of jumping across high balconies for some time.
Despite the continuing number of falls the City Council of Calvia in Majorca believe that a series of preventive measures are having a positive effect.
These include fines of up to 1,500 EUR (1,337 GBP), and possible expulsion from hotels for “uncivilised behaviour,” higher bars on the actual hotel balconies, visitors with potentially risky profiles being assigned rooms on lower floors, and a wider campaign against the prevailing culture of pub crawls and cheap drink.
So far in 2018 there have been eight deaths in Spain’s Balearic islands due to “balconing.”
In recent years the death toll has been running at between 10 and 12 a year. In 95 percent of cases the victims had ingested large quantities of alcohol, and 30 percent of them had taken other substances.
The most recent case occurred this August when a 23-year-old German tourist fell to his death in Majorca after drunkenly attempting to do pull-ups whilst hanging from the 12th floor of a hotel in the resort of Palmanova.
So far this year in Calvia alone, police in Majorca have received over 350 complaints of “uncivil behaviour.”