The death of a Kiwi woman, blown away by a jet blast from a plane in the Caribbean, has not deterred tourists from thrill seeking near a local airport.
Gayleen McEwan, 57, of Blenheim, died after hitting her head when she was knocked over by the blast of a jetliner taking off at St Maarten, while enjoying a holiday with her husband and two Kiwi friends.
It is believed McEwan was one of several people holding on to a fence at Princess Juliana International Airport by Maho Beach, on Wednesday evening, to watch planes land - a major tourist attraction.
"Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircraft flying low above their heads," local police said.
Since the tragedy unfolded, visitors have continued to stand at the fence in line of the jet blast of aircrafts, according to local news site The Daily Herald, despite a warning from police against the "extremely dangerous" activity.
Signs at the airport also warn of the dangers of standing too close to the fence.
In a statement, local police said airport authorities and other local authorities have taken all necessary measures to warn the public not to stand in the path of the jet blast of a departing aircraft because of the danger involved.
"Police patrols on a daily basis visit that area during the busy hours to warn persons to stay away from that area during take off jet aircrafts.
"The local authorities are urging the general public and mainly visitors to the island to adhere to the warning signs that are placed at that location to avoid serious injuries which can ultimately lead to the loss of life."
In a statement issued to local media, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher said McEwan's family were aware of the risk associated with the activity.
"While the family recognised that what they did was a risk in lieu of the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with the family while we continue to investigate what transpired."
The Daily Herald said McEwan's close family were expected to arrive in St Maarten today (Friday local time).
McEwan reportedly owned Blenheim Palms Motel and was a mother of three who was with husband Phill and two Kiwi friends on St Maarten.
St Maarten tourist director, Rolando Brison, told the NZ Herald earlier this week there were "three grieving at the hospital".
Paramedics rushed to McEwan's aid after she was tossed backwards but she died shortly later at St Maarten Medical Center while doctors were trying to revive her.
In a statement to local media on Thursday, the Princess Juliana International Airport SXM Supervisory Board of Directors, management and staff said they were saddened to have learned about unfortunate accident.
"Further investigation by the local authorities will have to show what exactly took place. For now we cannot express enough our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased," stated the press release.
In 2012 a young woman was seriously injured when she was thrown against a concrete barrier by the blast of an arriving JetBlue airplane.