Sao Paulo, Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt drowns trying to save two puppies blown into sea during storm while sailing.
Caroline Bittencourt, 37, leaped into the sea on Sunday after her two dogs fell off a catamaran as winds reached 62 mph according to local media.
The woman’s husband, Jorge Sestini followed her into the water in a desperate rescue attempt, only to find himself in the wild waters for three hours before being saved.
The model’s body was finally found late Monday near Cigarras Beach, her father-in-law, Alfredo Sestini, confirmed via Brazil’s Globo.
The tragedy happened as the couple, who married in January, were near Ilhabela, a large island near Sao Paulo which means ‘beautiful island’ in English.
The area is noted for offering visitors around 25 miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails and waterfalls.
Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt drowns:
‘She jumped into the sea to save two puppies of hers that had fallen into the water because of the wind. It was just her, her husband and the puppies on the boat. Jorge jumped into the water to try to save her but they became separated from each other because of the storm. He had to swim three hours towards the coast to survive,’ Can Saad, a close friend of the couple told via the dailymail.
‘Jorge tried to save her. He saw Carol drowning and wasn’t able to save her. It was a terrible moment for him,’ Caroline’s agent Andreia Boneti told local media.
‘We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol’s friends and fans,’ her daughter, Isabelle Bittencourt, 17 posted on Instagram. ‘This energy drive fills our hearts with so much love.’
Bittencourt, who also worked as a TV presenter, made headlines after she was asked to leave Brazilian ex-footballer Ronaldo’s wedding to Daniella Cicarelli back in February 2005, according to The Sun.
The model was reportedly asked to leave the ceremony by the-then bride because billionaire businessman João Paulo Diniz, who dated both the women in the past, was an attendee. Álvaro Garnero, a Brazilian entrepreneur, who was dating Bittencourt at the time, said he chose to leave the venue with Bittencourt.
Bittencourt had modeled for brands such as Valentino Garavani and Roberto Cavalli. She also worked for RedeTV!, RecordTV, which are local Brazilian media channels.
Agency Oxygen Models, the agency for which Caroline worked, issued the following statement on her death: ‘We appreciate all the trust she placed in us in these years of work and partnership. Our condolences go to her friends and family. We are in mourning.’
Bittencourt’s death comes days after the death of Tales Soares, 26, who died after collapsing on the catwalk Saturday during Sao Paulo Fashion Week.