Tourist warning as Benidorm starts new police patrol to protect people from extreme danger

Wife notices ‘odd things’ in husband’s selfie

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The study by Spanish iO Foundation found that tourists accounted for 141 deaths globally between 2008 and 2021 and have a much higher tendency to take risks than local residents. One of the most lethal spots to take a selfie is Niagara Falls in Canada although accidents have also occurred in the tourist resort of Benidorm.

The countries with the highest number of selfie fatalities are India, the USA and Russia, but Spain is not far behind.

Spain is in sixth place worldwide recording 15 deaths from selfie related accidents since 2008.

The study found there had been 31 fatal selfie accidents in the first seven months of this year.

The increase in deaths is thought to be due to the relaxation of travel rules which has seen many people start travelling again.

In September, a Ukrainian tourist fell from a height of 30 metres at Benidorm’s Old Town castle viewpoint.

Since the incident, Benidorm city council says it has stepped up patrols of popular areas to prevent further tragedies.

A Benidorm city council spokesperson told El País: “It is something that has become more visible after what happened in September, but we were already working on it.

“The local police include patrols of the most sensitive places in their daily security briefings and are even using drones to keep an eye on the most-visited spots.

“Now we want to look at how to introduce this issue into the talks that police officers give in schools to get across the importance of avoiding this kind of behaviour.”

Other selfie tragedies have occurred in Spain with another devastating extreme photo accident in Marbella.

In May, a 24 year old Norwegian fell from a ninth floor balcony in the southern holiday destination.

A 28-year-old woman fell from a Barcelona rooftop in November 2020 and a 14-year-old fell from a skylight in Madrid in March 2020.

Researchers have said that tourists are increasingly seeking out more extreme spots for their selfies.

Lilian Arroyo, a researcher on the subject, told El País: “Social networks reward the most extreme content, because they work on dynamics where this kind of content allows them to attract more attention.

“The prize for taking a very risky selfie is social standing and this gives you a rush of adrenalin for every ‘like’ that you receive.

“This in turn leads some people who need this social validation to look for new ways to test the limits and seek further reward and that is where people’s capacity to weigh if the reward is worth the risk or not lies.”

Accidents due to falling from height were the most commonly recorded in the survey, including from places such as waterfalls, rooftops and cliffs.

Deaths were most common in younger age groups with under 19s making up over 40 percent of the total fatalities.

The death of travel blogger Sophia Cheung, 32, horrified her fans, many of whom followed her to see her daring photos taken at extreme global locations.

In a tragic accident in July, Cheung died after slipping and falling from a dangerous waterfall in Hong Kong.

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