Tourist Dies in St. Maarten Due to Jet Blast Injury
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update 7/14/17: Initial reports indicated that the departing plane was operated by American Airlines, however it appears that a Caribbean Airlines 737 was the aircraft involved.
A 57-year-old female tourist from New Zealand was severely injured by the blast of a departing airliner Wednesday evening at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport (SXM) around 6:00pm, and later died after being admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center. The incident was first reported Wednesday evening by SXM Talks.
Maho Beach is a mecca for plane spotters, due to its proximity to arrivals and departures on Runway 10, its beautiful scenery and the decent variety of airline traffic. Planes fly very low over the beach when landing on this runway, creating incredible wide-angle photo (and video) opportunities.
On Maho Beach, people also practice the dangerous hobby known as “fence surfing,” where people hang on to the perimeter fence of the airport when a plane lines up to depart. As the plane spools up its engines, the powerful and hot thrust blows people over, usually tumbling across the road and onto the beach, along with whatever loose clothing or belongings the people had. The video above is not from Wednesday’s incident, but an example of the danger of fence surfing.
Signs along Maho Beach warn tourists of the potential dangers of jet blasts, yet many people ignore the warnings. It may be only a matter of time before local law enforcement is forced to limit access to individuals who have no need to be around the airport. Hopefully this incident will highlight the dangers of fence surfing, and dissuade others from doing so in the future.
Featured image via AeroIcarus (Flickr / Labeled for commercial use).
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees