maho beach
Maho Beach is just metres away from the Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin Wikimedia

A New Zealand woman has died after being blown off her feet by the powerful jet engine blast of a Boeing 737 passenger plane on the Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten.

The 57-year-old reportedly hit her head on concrete after being knocked over near Maho beach, which is famed for its proximity to where aircraft take off and land, just 50m (160ft) away from sunbathers.

A local official said the woman, who has not been publicly named, joined other thrillseekers in holding onto a fence of the Princess Juliana International Airport as the passenger jet was taking off on Wednesday (12 July).

She lost her grip and was thrown backwards by the powerful blast, suffering serious injury. A video posted on Facebook shows beachgoers desperately attempt to revive the woman with CPR. She was taken to hospital but later died.

The beginning of the runway at the airport is just 50m from the fence on Maho beach. Despite signs warning of the dangers that the aircraft's jet engine blast can pose, the beach has become a major tourist attraction for thrillseekers.

Numerous videos have been posted online showing beachgoers being blown into the water or off their feet while attempting to hold on to the airport's perimeter fence.

The island's tourism director, Rolando Brison, told the New Zealand Herald he had spoken to the family of the dead woman.

"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.

In a statement, Sint Maarten Police said they visit the area daily to discourage tourists from clinging to the runway fence.

"The landing and taking off of all types and size of aircrafts at the international airport of Sint Maarten is well known worldwide as major tourist attraction," police said.

"Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off. Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous."