Going to Maho Beach? Please Step Away from the Runway

Maho Beach in Sint Maarten has long attracted tourists for one unique feature — aircraft taking off and landing just feet from the sandy shoreline. Though the local police regularly patrol the area and further discourage plane-spotting with numerous warning signs, tourists still flock to the place to capture pictures and videos and experience some Pushing Tin-style jetstreams first hand.

The warnings were not enough for one tourist who died this week on the beach. A 57-year-old woman was knocked headfirst onto the runway pavement from the blowback of an aircraft's jet as it took off at the Princess Juliana Airport. “At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones while we continue to investigate what exactly transpired,” said Rolando Brison, the director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority, in a statement to the Saint Martin News Network.

If you're planning a trip to Sint Maarten, heed the advice of the warning signs related to the jumbo jets flying immediately above your head. You're in the Caribbean after all — why waste your time plane spotting? We suggest checking out the nearby Simpson Bay Beach, a long curve of white sand flanked by the ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other. Or, if you're looking for cheap thrills, head to the nude beach at Orient Bay.