Sore head from jet blast: Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten is widely heralded as a plane spotters paradise due to the setting of Princess Juliana International Airport and its proximity to a public beach. Most of us have seen the iconic images of large aircraft landing and taking-off perilously close to a beach packed with amazed onlookers.
News has recently surfaced of an unlucky young woman who was “fence surfing” during a routine takeoff at the famous Caribbean airport. Fence surfing involves holding onto the fence at the end of the runway as the aircraft commences its takeoff roll. Let it be known: fence surfing isn’t for the faint hearted. The abrasiveness of the sand and the biting sting it inflicts on exposed skin is painful to say the least. Watch as this young woman decides to take on the thrust of jet engines plus wind and sand:
As you can see, she let go of the fence which ultimately led to a stunning impact with a concrete barrier. A further snapshot shows the young woman upright and conscious therefore one can assume that she pulled through OK.
Most people fall into the “She deserves it because shes an idiot” or the “OMG That was hilarious” camps. I fall into both. One thing that I am concerned about however is the possibility that the local authorities could in-fact restrict access to the beach as a consequence of the media exposure. St Maarten locals however note that the beach is a major tourist destination in itself and restriction is highly unlikely. Regardless – I just hope that when I finally get to St Maarten I too can get a chance to fence surf.
I just won’t let go of the fence.