A UK holidaymaker may be paralysed for life after a freak accident at a waterpark in Spain.

23-year-old David Briffaut was pulled unconscious from the water after riding the Splash slide at the Benidorm waterpark, Aqualandia.

It is feared Briffaut suffered life-altering spinal injuries on the slide that could leave him paralysed from the chest down after breaking two vertebrae on the fun ride.

The moment David received his life-altering spinal injuries. Photo / Supplied
The moment David received his life-altering spinal injuries. Photo / Supplied

The tourist is currently in intensive care in hospital at Alicante, where the Daily Mail reports his has been joined by parents Lorraine and Stephane.

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His mother told the Mail "We are living in every parents' nightmare. Our son went on holiday with his girlfriend and we have been told he might never walk again. All we can do now is pray that he can recover."

"He is sedated but is aware what has happened to him. David is getting fantastic care at the hospital but we want to get him home to England as soon as he can be moved."

Briffaut was on holiday with his girlfriend Penny Bristow when they visited the Aqualandia water park.

Friends filming the incident from the bottom of the slide, saw the moment Briffaut raced another rider down the chute into a pool below.

At the end of the slide Briffaut's head jolt forward as he hits the water.

Splash: The slide is rated moderate and designed for 'all the family'. Photo / Supplied, aqualandia.net
Splash: The slide is rated moderate and designed for 'all the family'. Photo / Supplied, aqualandia.net

It was clear that something was wrong as the holidaymaker came off his red mat.

Briffaut reportedly complained of having lost sensation in his legs, as he was transferred to hospital in Alicante.

Lorraine and Stephane Briffaut released the video to media as they call for an investigation into the safety of the slide at Aqualandia, which is one of the world's biggest waterparks.

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On arriving in Spain, the family were shocked to see the Splash slide still in operation.

His mother, Lorraine has not seen the video saying it is too distressing to watch.

"We are in the hands of the doctors and just have to wait and see. He is getting excellent care, but would like to bring him home as soon as possible," she said.

Aqualandia has been in operation for almost 35 years and is one of the most popular attractions in the Spanish resort of Benidorm.

It rates its rides into three categories for risk: infant, moderate and radical. Children under six must be accompanied by an adult on slides.

The Splash slide on which the incident happened was listed as only moderate, with two slides graded the more serious 'radical' rating. The website describes it as an "attraction designed to be enjoyed by all the family."

There are no signs that the attraction will be stopped, and no additional guides have been put in place.

The family have started a funding appeal to fund life-long care David is expected to need. Photo / Supplied
The family have started a funding appeal to fund life-long care David is expected to need. Photo / Supplied

A spokesperson for the waterpark defended the decision to continue the operation, saying that all attractions had been reviewed by an external health and safety company at the start of the season with daily inspections.

Moreover the park spokesperson said it was clear from the footage that Mr Briffaut had not followed the safety instructions for Splash.

"Aqualandia has a long, 34-year history and safety is out top priority. Our rules and recommendations are clearly displayed all the park and must be adhered to by our visitors," the spokesperson told the Mail Online.

The guidelines on the attraction's webpage state that the "ride must be used lying down completely on your chest with your arms slightly bent and holding on to the mat with both hands."

However, there is no indication of the dangers or that life-altering injuries that might result from this attraction designed for "all the family".

The Briffauts have begun an appeal to raise £75,000 ($140,000) to help with the care of David when he returns home.

The page says: "Our thoughts and our prayers are with David and his family. The catastrophic injuries mean that David will need life-long care. His life has changed and so has the lives of those closet to him.

"His parents home will need to be remodelled for disability access, specialised treatment and new treatments will need to be explored and of course many other unforeseen expenses covered. In short we want to do everything within our capabilities to raise as much money as possible to enable David to get the best possible care and better his life in whatever way we can."