Tourists plunge 100 feet to their death while taking selfie on wall above popular Portuguese beach
A British woman and Australian man have died after falling 100 feet off a beach wall in Portugal while taking a selfie.
Michael Kearns, 33, and his partner Louise Benson, 37, were apparently taking a picture on top of a wall that overlooks Pescadores beach in Ericeira when they plunged to their deaths between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Their bodies were found by a beach cleaner on Tuesday morning and a cell phone was found at the top of the wall.
“Everything seems to indicate that the fall happened when they were probably trying to take a selfie,” said Rui Pereira da Terra, a captain of the local naval authority.
“It seems they dropped their mobile phone and fell down while leaning over to retrieve it.”
Local fishermen told Portuguese site Jornal de Notícias that they discovered a “horror scene” when they found the bodies around 6.30 a.m.
“At first the fishermen thought the corpses, from far away, might be people sleeping on the beach,” according to the report. “Only when they got closer did they realize that it was a dead couple and they were shocked with what they saw. Their bodies were shattered.”
Kearns was a fly-in, fly-out employee on Chevron’s Wheatstone project in the Pilbar and was a keen diver in his spare time, according to Perth Now.
He had left Australia in January on vacation with Benson, and they had attended a friend’s wedding in Portugal in recent weeks, according to his mother.
Benson, a British expat who lived in Perth with Kearns, worked for non-profit Sea Shepherd Australia, according to her Facebook page, and also appears to have been a diver.
A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told news.com.au that it was providing consular assistance to the man’s family.
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office added: “We are in touch with local authorities following the death of a British woman in Portugal and are providing support to her family.”
Praia dos Pescadores – or Fishermans Beach – on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, is around 25 miles from Lisbon and is popular with tourists and surfers.