The beach is just metres from the runway at Princess Juliana International Airport, separated only by a low fence. Maho beach is a popular tourist destination for people who come to catch the perfect selfie with a low flying plane.
Despite the danger, many also cling to the fence to see how long they can hold on while being buffeted by planes about to take off. The 57-year-old from New Zealand died after she was knocked to the ground, and is believed to have hit her head against concrete.
Sint Maarten’s tourism director, Rolando Brison, told the New Zealand Herald he had met with the woman’s family – also on holiday.
‘I met with the family of the deceased this evening and while they recognised that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way,’ he said.
Earlier this year tourists on Maho beach caught the dramatic scenes as a West Jet plane got the tricky landing approach totally wrong.