Briton Alan Clare dies after falling from hotel balcony in Benidorm


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The Independent Online

A British tourist has plunged to his death after falling from a hotel balcony in Benidorm.

Alan Clare, 34, was in the Spanish holiday resort for a stag party with friends when he tried to climb on to the balcony from an open window, it is believed.

The amateur rugby player from Warrington, Cheshire, is thought to have been trying to reach his room on the fifth floor after to returning to his hotel alone and finding himself locked out.

His body was found at the four-star Las Dalmatas Hotel near the resort's Levante beach. 

Known as 'Bundy' to friends, the sportsman played rugby for Bank Quay Bulls rugby league club. 

Friends paid tributes on Sunday in messages posted on Mr Clare's Facebook page.

Pal Kelly-Ann Clarkson wrote: “You will be greatly missed by everyone who ever had the pleasure to meet you. An absolute unique guy.”

Danielle Greenwood added: “So sorry to hear this devastating news. What a lovely guy! My thoughts are with your family.”

Ste Arnold added: 'Shocked and gutted to hear of bundy's passin he was top bloke and it was an honour and a privelage to play alongside one of the original bank quay allstars, sad day, rest in peace bund.' (sic) 

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

Overall, seven British holidaymakers have died from balcony falls in Spain in the past four years. Many of the accidents result from attempts to climb between balconies, or after jumping from balconies into hotel pools.

The trend, known as 'balconing', is popular among youngsters and is often fuelled by drink and drugs. All previous incidents had occurred on the party islands of Mallorca and Ibiza. Young British holidaymakers have been warned they risk costing themselves thousands of pounds or even death from the summer craze. 

Despite a high-profile campaign warning of the dangers, fronted by Olympic diver Tom Daley, the issue continues to be a major headache for officials in Spain.

A British embassy spokesman said: "Consular staff in Spain have this year assisted in a number of cases of very serious injuries - including some fatal - caused by falls from balconies. "Such incidents are often the result of people being under the influence of drink or drugs. "We strongly urge people to be aware of the risks and that balcony accidents do happen - with awful consequences.

"Your travel insurance may not cover the potentially very large costs that can result from a balcony fall while you're under the influence of drink or drugs." 

Craig Knapp, 31, from Dundee, fell to his deaths from a balcony in Mallorca.

Grant Weston, 24, from Pembroke, died after plunging 50ft from a hotel in Ibiza, and Kevin Louis, 27, was killed after falling more than 30ft from a balcony in Mallorca in 2010. Charlotte Faris, 23, Benjamin Harper, 28, and 20-year-old Adam Atkinson, all suffered similar deaths in Magaluf last year. 

A further 43 British nationals have suffered injuries including fractured skulls, punctured lungs and broken bones in the same period.

Nikki White, a spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents, said: "We are urging young holidaymakers to think about the potential risks of balconies. "We see too many people permanently injured or worse because they've tried to climb over or dive off their hotel balcony.

"We want people to enjoy their holidays but would advise them to think about the ramifications of their behaviour abroad. "Incidents such as these have devastating consequences for holidaymakers and for their families.

"By working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, tourist authorities and ABTA Members in resort we hope to help holidaymakers stop and think about how they use their balconies to prevent more of these tragic and avoidable incidents."