Maho Beach, located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, has become a highly popular spot to watch planes land at Princess Juliana International Airport (aka Maho Beach Airport). The beach is relatively small with oceanfront dining and hotels with crowds of people and long lines in the afternoons. The extremely low flying jets offer thrill seekers and aviation enthusiasts prime photo-ops and a rush of adrenaline that has people arriving by the bus-full. But what’s the real concern?

With winds from the airplanes reaching more than 100 mph, serious injury or even death is possible and many tourists have been blown into the ocean from the force of the jet blast. Although there are numerous signs warning people to stay away, hundreds still flock to the area for the thrill and experience.

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In 2017, it was reported that a New Zealand tourist died after being “blown back several feet from the force of the jet blast, resulting in serious head injuries.” The 57-year old women was holding onto an airport fence at the time. After her death, police made a statement that “standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off… is extremely dangerous.”

It is highly recommended that children stay away from attraction. However, it might be in your best interest to pass on this experience as well. There are plenty of picture-worthy spots on St. Maarten that do not include the high risk of injury or even death.