Despite the advice and the warnings, there continue to be balcony falls in Majorca.

16-07-2015Vasil Vasilev

They are young, on holiday, drunk and sometimes high, and they decide to jump from their hotel or apartment balcony into the pool. But some miss and end up in hospital ... or worse, dead.

The so-called "balconing" craze has taken off to such an extent that doctors at the Son Espases Hospital in Palma - a major trauma centre - decided to study the phenomenon.

"It’s endemic," says Xavier Gonzalez, head of surgery at the hospital who participated in the study. "It seems that it’s like an initiation rite for some tourists, whose parents came here when they were young."

The 2010-2015 study only covers patients who were treated in hospital and not those who died while "balconing" - a term that refers to people who throw themselves into pools or fall while trying to get to another balcony or simply leaning over.

Altogether the hospital treated 46 patients during that time, more than 60 per cent of whom were British, followed by Germans and then Spaniards. Only one woman was involved, all the others were men, aged 24 on average. The fall itself was from an average height of eight metres (26 feet).

Alcohol was involved almost every time, and in close to 40 per cent of the cases drugs also played a role.

The craze has cost €1.5 million in hospital fees, Gonzalez says, as patients can remain in intensive care for a long time, some ending up paraplegic. It is unclear exactly how many people have died from "balconing", but Spanish media have reported more than a dozen deaths over the past five years. The craze also happens on the Costa Brava but is most prevalent in the Balearics, for instance Magalluf.

In a bid to curb the trend, the regional government has implemented measures - printing preventive leaflets and handing out fines to people caught trying to jump from balconies. "As a precaution, when they see a group of young people arrive, hoteliers no longer put them on top floors but on the ground floor," adds Gonzalez.

The UK has tried to warn tourists of the dangers. In 2012, for example, the foreign ministry published leaflets called Booze and Balconies Don’t Mix, using the story of Jake Evans from Liverpool. Drunk, he fell from the seventh floor of his flat in Magalluf in 2011.

"I hit every balcony on the way down, as they jutted out like steps," he was quoted as saying. "I landed on a sun lounger which broke my fall and probably saved my life. I fractured my skull, broke front teeth which pierced through my upper lip, snapped my right wrist and broke all the fingers on my right hand. The accident changed my life. I have recurring problems with my back and right wrist and doctors have told me I probably always will."

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Mike / Hace over 5 years

With all my respect to all medical staff which are doing a great job, starting to study the phenomenon ... that's not even worth doing.. Despite from which country them are they are just simple retards. They do not only cost the Mallorcan hospitals 1.5 millions of e but also in some cases their home country a lot of money. Of course after committing their act of stupidity they then afterwards require the best treatment and facilities. Some of them remain disabled, can't work anymore or partly and then they need benefits every months, special extra care etc : who pays that . Don't make me laugh , now youngsters are getting ground floor hotel rooms What's next : rubber floor coating so they don't get hurt when they fall over being drunk at the swimming pool terrace ? Most of them have nothing in their head so nothing can get hurt. Most of the survive, it would save some money if they didn't

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