We’ve all seen those breathtaking photos of giant jetliners flying a little close to the white Caribbean sand on St Maarten as they touch down at the local seaside gateway.

Although visually we acknowledge how close aircraft fly to the hundreds of beach-goers, many of us rarely ever question its safety. We just assume a gust of wind would hit those soaking in the sun and that would be it.

Apparently there’s a little more to it.

The blast from a jetliner taking off from Princess Juliana International Airport is so strong, it can literally send people flying. That’s what happened to a Kiwi tourist who was knocked into a wall near the runway.

Image: vacationstmaarten.com/

Image: vacationstmaarten.com/

The 57-year-old traveller was one of a few people seen holding onto a fence near the airport while the plane took off, Sky News reported.

Local authorities said the government has installed signs advising tourists to avoid standing near the fence during take off, but they’re often ignored.

“Many people come just for the thrill of this main attraction and unfortunately this time someone lost their life.”

The police officer continued saying that people standing too close to the fence has resulted in dozens of injuries over the years but this was the first time someone has died.

Have you visited St Maarten?