A couple from Ukraine has sparked outrage after doing what many tourists often do: take ill-advised photos.
The controversial photo shows the couple, 36-year-old Oleg Kolisnichenko and 25-year-old Yuliia Nos, performing a one-handed handstand, with the girl’s feet seemingly inches away from hitting a passing airplane’s wheels.
The image was taken at Maho Beach in the Caribbean island of St Maartens. The place is known for its proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport, which gives beach-goers an up-close but dangerous look at passing airplanes.
Just last year, a woman died after being hit by a jet blast by the shore.
After posting the pictures on Instagram, both Oleg and Yuliia have received plenty of criticism for a stunt that could have endangered their lives, as well as those of the plane passengers.
Some commenters said, “stupidity at its finest,” while others wrote, “this beach is at risk of being shut down because of brainless antics like this.”
In an interview with Metro, Oleg defended their photos, saying: “Naturally, there’s a lot of criticism, but we treat this with understanding. Of course, it is unpleasant to hear insults and conclusions about how we could cause the death of hundreds of people.
“But I want to say that our friend and photographer Maxim Zarko did this shot lying on the sand. Therefore, the angle makes it seems like the plane almost touched her legs.”
Other users sided with the couple, explaining that the aircraft really was higher than what the photos suggest.
“Those tires are the size of people,” one commenter said. “If the plane was low enough to hit her, they would be the same size as her. That plane would also be low enough to crash into the fence surrounding the airport.”
Another weighed in: ‘From what I’ve read about the airport, planes are approximately 100 feet above ground at that point. That leaves a clearance of about 88 feet from her toes.”
What do you think? Completely harmless Instagram photo or another bunch of awful tourists?