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"Paul’s work on the international curriculum over 10 years ensured that Sefton was in the vanguard nationally in developing staff and student exchanges and study visits. His language skills were paramount in this as the department and Sefton schools expanded their links to include many countries in Europe and the world."
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Balconing PDF
Monday, 29 August 2011 13:00

What is it? And why do people do it? Especially when they’re drunk! Although that’s why they do it, I suppose ... because they’re off their heads!

The craze of "balconing" involves people jumping off their hotel balcony into the swimming pool or leaping from balcony to balcony. It has been made popular by YouTube and social networks, with these daredevil jumps being filmed and posted on the internet for all to see and – stupidly, in my view - emulate.

Authorities at Spanish holiday resorts are warning of a fresh wave of deaths from this dangerous game played by drunken tourists. There are also other dares, according to authorities, with some people falling after trying to clamber from one balcony to another or playing other drunken games without taking into account the danger of falling.

With three deaths and several serious injuries from balcony falls in hotels in the Balearic islands alone this summer, hoteliers and authorities are worried that young tourists have still not woken up to just how dangerous this foolhardy activity is.

They say the number of falls already exceeds the seasonal average, despite measures taken by some hotels to make it harder to clamber over balcony railings.

Two British tourists are among the victims, with a 25-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man dying in falls at hotels in Ibiza's San Antonio resort earlier this summer, according to local press reports. And a 20-year-old Italian woman died this month after falling from a fourth-floor balcony in Palma, Majorca.

There have been more than a dozen injured. Last Friday a 20-year-old British man was one of two people seriously injured in separate balcony falls on the same night.

Hotel workers blame the deaths and accidents mostly on alcohol and drugs and tell horror stories of finding young tourists hanging from balconies claiming to have lost their keys or trying to dive into fountains with only a few inches of water in them.

Some hotels have adopted British standard balcony railings, which are higher, in order to prevent jumpers and cut down on the number of deaths and accidents. Tour operators have also tried to issue warnings about balconies and hoteliers are considering taking fresh measures. Rafael Bosch, spokesman for the regional Balearic government, said: “The incidents are very unfortunate and this is not the kind of tourism we wish to encourage.”

I just think it’s daft! Balconies are for sitting on, sunbathing, reading and having a few quiet drinks!

© Paul Whitelock


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Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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