A beach on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten provides one of the only experiences in the world for tourists to get up close and personal with jumbo jets.

The island has an airport literally right next to a beach, with a runway flight path that goes directly over it. So as the jets warm up, tourists often stand behind the jets and see if their power can blow them into the water.

It can be a pretty cool experience.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, a 57-year-old New Zealand woman ignored a danger sign that said not to get too close to the fence, and was killed when the jet blew her backward, causing her head to hit concrete.

From The New Zealand Herald:

Tourists and locals worked in vain to try to revive a New Zealand woman tossed to her death by the jet blast from a plane at a Caribbean beach.

The 57-year-old woman lay prone on the beach at St Maarten as witnesses performed CPR. She was comforted by others.

Several people were apparently holding on to the airport fence to ride the jet blasts of planes landing and taking off at Princess Juliana International Airport – a popular but dangerous tourist pastime.


The woman was with her family and was holding on to a fence at the end of the runway when a Boeing 737 departed for Trinidad.

The jet’s blast blew her and others backwards, causing her to fall and hit her head on concrete pavement.

A warning sign specifically states that this kind of thing could happen, so if you’re ever at the Princess Juliana International Airport, or ever behind a jumbo jet, please do not do this.

Others have done the same thing before, and they’ve narrowly escaped death.

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.