I don’t know if people know this or not, but fences are put up for a reason. They usually mean “keep away” or “this is for your own safety”. But some people just don’t get the massive metal hint. St. Maarten Island is known for their beachside airport, just yards away from the waters of Maho Beach. And where there’s beaches, there’s drunks and, at an arguably lower level of reasoning skills, tourists.
As the jet at Princess Juliana International Airport was preparing to make its routine take-off, the usual crowd of beachgoers rushes over to feel the strong, loud propulsion of its turbines. Logically you would think they’d all run back to the beach once the force was too strong to handle. You would think. With a runway that is a short 7,000 feet on one end and leads to plane-crushing mountains on the other, there is very little room for, let’s say a woman, to be messing around near the plane. Try as she might to hold on to the airport’s fence, she is no match for the brute kick of the turbine and gets blasted towards nearby concrete blocks. She suffered deep head wounds and was taken to the hospital alongside another tourist with a broken leg and the same shameful regret. The whole thing just goes to teach you to respect your turbines. And don’t be a tourist.