The airport on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten is a popular tourist attraction, as planes fly low over Maho Beach. However, one visitor from #New Zealand was killed on Wednesday while experiencing the #Jet Blast from a departing plane.

Beach at the airport a popular, but dangerous attraction

Tourists love the experience of standing on the beach as planes take off or land directly over their heads, but there are warning signs telling people to stay away due to the dangers of the jet blast. 57-year-old Gayleen McEwan of Blenheim, New Zealand was enjoying a vacation with her husband and two friends when they visited the beach.

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She died after being knocked over by the jet blast and hitting her head on the concrete.

McEwan was the mother of three children and was visiting St. Maarten with her husband, Phill McEwan and two friends. McEwan’s sister-in-law, Janice McEwan told the New Zealand Herald that the family is still in shock after her death and that they are “devastated” over the loss. She added McEwan was enjoying a “fantastic holiday,” which makes it just that much harder.

Visitors should take note of the warning signs about the jet blast

According to St. Maarten Police, many visitors to the island love the experience of the aircraft flying low, directly over their heads, but they say it is “extremely dangerous.” Visitors hold on to the fence, standing directly in the jet blast of the planes.

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News.com.au quotes spokesman Ricardo Henson as saying hundreds of visitors to the island ignore the many warning signs. Henson said dozens have been injured over the years by the jet blasts, but that this was the first death.

In a statement, police said emergency services were called out to the beach next to the airport at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Several people had been holding onto the airport fence while a large jet took off from Princess Juliana International Airport. McEwan was seriously injured after she was blown down by the jet blast and was taken to hospital by paramedics but died shortly after.

The St. Maarten Police have also posted a warning on their Facebook page telling people to take note of the warning signs on the fence at the end of the runway. They also linked to their own web page about the incident.

Video of resuscitation attempts causes outrage

The Herald reports there was outrage over a video taken by an onlooker as other beachgoers attempted to resuscitate McEwan.

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Posted to Facebook, the two-minute video showed McEwan lying on the beach while people performed CPR. The video has since been removed from the social media platform after many complained about the footage. One person reportedly commented to ask the person who posted it how they would feel if the video revealed the final moments of their sister or mother. However, other Facebook users went on to say McEwan should have read the signs posted at the airport, warning people of the dangers from the jet blast.

A similar incident happened in 2012 when a woman received serious injuries from the jet blast from an arriving aircraft on the beach after she was blown against a concrete barrier. A video of that incident is included below.

#St Maarten