Jet Blast Kills Tourist at Maho Beach

One of the most popular destinations for cruisers doing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary, Maho Beach in St. Maarten, was the site of a tragedy this week when a 57-year-old woman died after being blown off her feet by the force of a jet’s engines as it landed at the airport next to the St. Maarten.

Why is  Maho Beach So Popular?

“Many tourists,” said the local police in a statement, “ come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircraft flying low above their heads and holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off. Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous.” The beginning of the airport’s runway is a mere 160 feet from the fence separating it from the beach.

According to the New Zealand Herald, home paper of the deceased woman, St. Maarten’s tourism director, Rolando Brison, met with her family to express his condolences. “While they recognized that what they did was wrong,” he said, “through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that [the] risk they took turned out in the worst possible way.”

maho beach

Signs posted along the fence state the clear and present danger in no uncertain terms. “Jet blasts of departing and arriving aircraft,” they read, “can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death.”

Thrill seekers like to grab onto the fence while the planes are departing. The jet blast from the airplane’s exhaust can exceed speeds of a Category 1 hurricane. In this case, the landing place was a Boeing 737. The statement from the local authorities went on to say that they visit the area each day and do everything in their power to discourage tourists from clinging to the runway fence.

Photo: flickr/Rudy Chiarello

2 Responses

  1. The title of this article is a little clickbaity and misleading. The person in question didn’t die from the jet blast.. she died from blunt force trama to the head, after she got knocked over by the jet blast….

    which is why people shouldn’t be standing on the Airport side of the road to begin with… if she was standing on the Beach side of the road, and the jet wash knocked her over, she would have hit her had on sand….

Comments are closed.

Sign up for the Cruise Radio Newsletter

Get the real facts delivered straight to your inbox, with trustworthy cruise related news.

Send this to a friend
Hi, this may be of interest to you: Jet Blast Kills Tourist at Maho Beach. This is the link: