MALLORCA – The high season of 2022 has tragically started in Mallorca. On Thursday, May 12, the island had to mourn two fatalities as a result of two reckless acts; balconing and jumping off a cliff.
Regional Minister of Economic Model, Tourism and Labour, Iago Negueruela, told Diario de Mallorca newspaper that he was “stunned” by the deaths of two tourists. He took the opportunity to warn people for their own safety; “We insist and reiterate that the authorities of the Balearic Islands and the tourism sector want responsible tourism with common sense, for both residents and visitors themselves”.
According to the same newspaper, a 34-year-old British tourist died on Thursday after falling from the seventh floor of a hotel in Magaluf. The victim engaged in ‘balconing’. This is a very risky activity in which he moved from the outside via the balconies along the facade. However, that failed, whereupon he fell into the void and died instantly.
Jump from a cliff
The second victim was a 31-year-old Dutch tourist who jumped from a cliff on the Malgrats islets off the southwest coast of Mallorca in the tourist town of Calvià. The cliff in question is the highest on the island at 25 metres. He wanted to jump into the water, while his partner filmed it from a boat in front of two young children. He had misjudged his jump, landing on the rocks instead of in the water. Then he disappeared into the water. His lifeless body was later recovered by Civil Guard divers. An autopsy shows that the cause of death was drowning and not the impact of the impact on the rocks.
A day later, a young woman was seriously injured when she jumped into the sea from a height of about 10 metres in Cala Varques, in the municipality of Manacor.
Excessive alcohol consumption
For a few years now, the regional government on the islands has been fighting the phenomenon of balconing and the associated excessive alcohol use or binge drinking. Every year young tourists die or are seriously injured during the high season in Mallorca. Usually, these kinds of actions are carried out by young people after they have consumed a large amount of alcohol.
Why take such risks?
Following these horrific incidents, Diario Mallorca wonders what drives people to take such risks. The psychiatrist Miguel Lázaro, the psychologist Javier Torres and the forensic doctor Javier Alarcón dissect the psychological features of the phenomenon. Consequently, they suspect three key issues;
- the consumption of alcohol and other narcotics
- exhibitionistic tendencies on social networks for likes and acceptance
- an underestimation of risks during holidays
‘Easy way to popularity’
Both experts also see the risk that “Mallorca will be associated with these acts. And, furthermore, that it will spread to other tourists who associate holidays with these sensations.” Coroner Javier Alargon points out that doing extreme things for short-lived fame on the internet is nothing new. “The internet is full of images of people dying and making these extreme videos, it’s the easy road to popularity.”