British-Australian couple fall to their deaths 'while taking selfie' in Portugal

World

A British woman and an Australian man have fallen to their deaths while apparently trying to take a selfie above a popular beach in Portugal.

The couple were found below a 30-metre drop on the Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman’s Beach), in the west coast town of Ericeira, and a mobile phone was discovered on the wall above the beach, Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã reported.

The couple, who are both thought to be in their 30s were staying at a local hotel. A fisherman found the bodies when returning from work on Wednesday at about 6am local time, the paper reported.

Rui Pereira da Terra, the head of the rescue service at the Cascais port near Lisbon, told the paper that authorities suspect the man and woman had been trying to take a picture together when they fell, or that they could have been trying to retrieve personal possessions that had been dropped.

“We believe [the incident] occurred when one or both of them tried to take a selfie near the wall,” he said.

He added it could have been “that they had seen the loss of [an] object, and in trying to recover it, they fell.”

The paper also suggests other tourists may have seen the couple crossing a safety barrier above the cliff before the incident occurred.

The fisherman who found the bodies initially thought there were people sleeping on the beach. But when he got closer he found a “scene of horror” at the bottom of the cliff, saying the couple were “unrecognisable”, the paper reported. 

He informed a beach cleaner who raised the alarm. Firefighters and the Maritime Police covered the bodies, and the deaths were confirmed by health officials.

The police do not believe there was any foul play, and the bodies were later removed to a morgue at the Hospital of Torres Vedras, where autopsies will be performed. 

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “We are in touch with local authorities following the death of a British woman in Portugal and are providing support to her family.”

In 2014 two Polish nationals aged 30 and 31 fell to their deaths from a cliff at Cabo da Roca, 30km further south, while posing for a photograph to be taken by one of their children.

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