Jet blast from a departing airplane killed a thrill-seeking tourist on a St. Maarten beach known for its views of low-flying airliners on approach.
The 57-year-old New Zealand woman vacationed on Maho Beach, adjacent to Juliana International Airport, when she was knocked off her feet by a plane’s powerful wake, according to a police report posted on the 721 news site.
She was among a group of tourists who stood near a fence separating the runway from a narrow road and the beach.
The blast’s force tossed her to the ground and caused her to hit her head.
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An onlooker captured video showing a volunteer attempting to resuscitate the woman, who lies on the beach on her back in a bikini.
The woman, who has not been identified by name, was taken to Sint Maarten Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Airport authorities have posted signs warning the public not to hang on the fence separating the beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island from the airport.
“Do not stand. Danger. Jet Blast,” the signs read.
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Police regularly patrol the area to steer tourists away from the attraction.
Visitors have been tossed by planes’ jet blast before, but this marks the first fatality of its kind at the site.
In 2012, a beachgoer was blown face-first into a low wall behind her while trying to withstand a jet engine’s back wash.
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